Germany blocks Turkey's EU accession talks

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Associated Press

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 20 at 4:30 PM

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — A diplomat says Germany has blocked the next step in the European Union's membership talks with Turkey over Ankara's crackdown on street protests this month.

The diplomat from an EU country said Thursday that Germany blocked the decision to open a new chapter in the long-running accession talks because "there are still open questions."

Pushing ahead with the talks as scheduled next Wednesday would have required unanimous approval at a meeting of top diplomats representing the EU's 27 member nations in Brussels Thursday.

The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the closed-door meeting publicly.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week said she was "appalled" to see Turkey's heavy-handed response stifling protesters exerting their right to freedom of speech.

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