EU wants to prepare for extension of customs union with Turkey | Free press

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Lots of shadow, some light: this is what relations with Turkey look like for the EU At the summit, the heads of state or government are now focusing on rapprochement with Ankara.

Brussels (dpa) – The EU wants to start preparations for the extension of the customs union with Turkey. At the EU summit on Thursday, the heads of state or government called on the Council of Ministers to start a negotiating mandate for the European Commission.

This could then enter into talks with the Ankara government. The decision is intended to encourage Turkey to constructively seek a solution to conflicts with Greece and Cyprus. The conflicts, until recently, included Turkish gas explorations near the Greek islands and off Cyprus.

In the dispute, the EU threatened Turkey with severe sanctions last December. The country then put an end to the controversial gas exploration and indicated its willingness to talk.

Both sides have a great economic interest in the expansion of the customs union. For example, it could stimulate trade in the agricultural and services sectors. The negotiations should actually start at the end of 2016, but so far the EU Member States have not given the EU Commission a negotiating mandate.

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