[WATCH] Busuttil: Turkey’s disproportionate actions after coup sheds doubt on EU accession

EU should pause its talks and agreements with Turkey - Simon Busuttil

PN leader Simon Busuttil in a meeting with EU commissioner for Europe's neighbourhood policy and enlargement negotiations Johannes Hahn
PN leader Simon Busuttil in a meeting with EU commissioner for Europe's neighbourhood policy and enlargement negotiations Johannes Hahn
PN leader says 'disproportionate action's following Turkey political coup ‘sheds doubt on accession talks’

Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil said that the aftermath of the botched coup in Turkey against should make the EU pause in talks to allow the country to join the Union.

“Although it is an important country strategically, we are concerned at the situation that these disproportionate actions have created,” Busuttil said, who dubbed the three-month state of emergency “excessive”.

“The way the government is planning to deal with opposition smacks of political cleansing… the EU should not consider accession of the country until it demonstrates stability and the necessary setting.”

Busuttil spoke ahead of a private meeting with EU commissioner for Europe’s neighbourhood policy and enlargement negotiations Johannes Hahn, who is currently in Malta.

Hahn agreed with Busuttil, saying that although Turkey with its 80 million inhabitants was an important player, he hoped for further peace talks in the country, which acts as an interlocutor between Europe and the Middle East.

“The question is not just whether the death penalty is reintroduced but there are a lot of developments that have caused concern including the arrest of journalists, removal of political immunity, academics not allowed to travel,” Hahn said, adding that he was intentionally being cautious due to blurred information so far.

Hahn said the EU was also committed to investing in infrastructure and education for refugees in Turkey.

Busuttil pointed out that one of the main concerns for Malta was Libya. “Institution-building is probably the best strength of the EU and that is exactly what the country needs.”

Busuttil said this issue also impacted other sectors like migration and terrorism.

Referring to Malta’s presidency of the EU council in 2017, Hahn expressed his hope that the country would be instrumental to drawing attention to the southern state during the EU presidency.

“The relationship in the whole North African region is unstable and we hope to have peace and welfare in the area… Malta is a key country in the discussions towards more peace.”

The EU has budgeted some €100 million to use in emergency cases in the area and that the EU was also keeping in touch with regional leaders to discuss and provide financial support and help them in the procurement of basic measures and to strengthen civil society.

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