Dutch FM willing to pause EU talks with Turkey

Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs is willing to advocate within the European Union for pausing the talks with Turkey regarding their admittance to the EU, he said in parliament on Wednesday, NOS reports

A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, today voted for pausing the talks. The PvdA added its vote to stepping away from the negotiation table, taking Tuesday's minority vote to a majority on Wednesday. Dutch parliament now supports pausing the talks for six months because of the worsening situation in Turkey.

Koenders emphasized that his main goal is unity in the EU, according to NOS. He will see how his EU colleagues feel about stopping the talks, at the Kamer's insistence. He added that pausing the talks will not be a "revolutionary step" - the negotiations are already "comatose". According to him, the Turks are currently moving further and further away from EU membership.

The Minister also stressed that the government is deeply concerned about the developments in Turkey. "The core of the problem is how we can improve it."