BERLIN, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 4th August, 2016) : European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday rejected Austria's call for the EU to end membership talks with Ankara, warning that it would be a grave error. "If one gives the impression to Turkey now that, no matter what, the EU is not ready to take in Turkey, then I would say that is a serious foreign policy mistake," Juncker told German public broadcaster ARD. "I don't think it would be helpful if we were to unilaterally end negotiations with Turkey," he said, adding that in any case such decisions can only be made with unanimity from all member states.
"I don't see this willingness among all member states at this point in time" to break off talks, he said. At the same time, Juncker acknowledged that Turkey has work to do in order to meet membership conditions set by the bloc. "Turkey cannot be a member of the European Union in its current state, and especially not if it decided, as some have warned, to reinstate the death penalty. That would lead to the immediate breaking off of negotiations," he warned. The West has been alarmed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's suggestion that he may reintroduce the death penalty after the July 15 attempted putsch.