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Turkey cannot become EU member, says European Peoples Party’s Weber

Turkey cannot become a member of the European Union, Manfred Weber, the European Peoples Party’s (EPP) lead candidate for the upcoming European elections, has said. The politician said that he would end accession talks if he becomes European Commission president, Reuters reports. Ankara says EU membership remains one of its top strategic goals even though accession talks, formally launched in 2004, have been stalled for years. Weber, the center-right EPP candidate to be EU Commission President after European Parliament elections in May, said that “everyone wants good relations” with Turkey. “But if I become Commission president, then I will instruct the offices in Brussels to end the talks with Turkey on accession to the EU,” he told German conservatives in Bavaria. In October, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would consider putting Turkey’s long-stalled bid to join the EU to a referendum.