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German minister: keep EU door open to Turkey

Monday - 2/3/2014, 7:40am  ET

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's foreign minister says it is important to keep the European Union's door open to Turkey following turbulence over a corruption scandal, and he's advocating opening two new sections of its membership talks.

Turkey's talks on joining the EU began in 2005 but have long been effectively stalled, mainly due to Turkey's dispute with EU member Cyprus and skepticism in some European nations about admitting a populous, largely Muslim country. Recent corruption allegations and Turkey's handling of them also have caused concern.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Monday it would make sense to open the sections of Turkey's membership negotiations that address justice and human rights.

Steinmeier said after meeting his Turkish counterpart that this would enable a "serious conversation about how things stand in Turkey at the moment."

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