News » International

Updated: December 11, 2010 16:54 IST

WikiLeaks: German foreign minister against Turkey joining EU

print   ·   T  T  
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.File photo: AP.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.File photo: AP.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is far more opposed to Turkey joining the European Union than he has expressed publicly, the media reported on Saturday, quoting U.S. embassy documents released by WikiLeaks.

A country as large as Turkey could not be integrated into the EU, Mr. Westerwelle reportedly told U.S. counterpart Hillary Rodham Clinton shortly after taking office in 2009.

If Germany had to decide now on Turkish EU accession, the answer would be no, the minister said according to Spiegel news magazine, which is publishing the U.S. diplomatic cables in collaboration with WikiLeaks.

However, this question would only present itself in five or six years, Mr. Westerwelle reportedly said, adding that Turkey was not modern enough to join the EU.

Germany officially advocates a “privileged partnership“for Turkey, rather than full-fledged EU membership. Nevertheless, Mr. Westerwelle and Chancellor Angela Merkel insist that accession talks “must not preclude any outcome.” The U.S. diplomatic dispatch suggested that this may be a tactical stance, to encourage structural reform in Turkey.

In September, Ms. Merkel signalled that she was willing to open new chapters in the accession talks, during a visit by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

More In: International | News


South Asia



Recent Article in International

Standing in a downpour, Singaporean soldiers salute as the coffin of Lee Kuan Yew passes during the funeral procession on Sunday, March 29, 2015 at the Padang parade grounds and City Hall in Singapore.

Singapore police arrested for anti-Lee Kuan Yew video

In a widely viewed YouTube video, Yee celebrated the death of Singapore's founding father Lee, who died last week aged 91 and was cremated after a state funeral on Sunday. »