ISTANBUL, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) — Turkey on Sunday blasted the new Austrian coalition over its attempt to end Ankara’s bid to join the European Union, threatening retaliation in case of Vienna pressing ahead with it.
“The unfortunate and shortsighted statement regarding Turkey in the program of the new government of Austria confirms concerns about a political movement which takes discrimination and alienation as its basis,” said a statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
The ministry described the new Austrian government’s intention to seek allies in its efforts to block Turkey’s EU accession talks as against “political and diplomatic customs,” warning Vienna of the risk of losing “the friendship of Turkey” and facing “appropriate response” by Ankara if it insists to do so.
Turkey’s membership talks with the EU have been stalled over squabbles about democracy and human rights, in particular after a coup bid which was foiled in Turkey in July 2016. Germany has also threatened to end the talks with Ankara.
The EU has not expanded the existing customs union with Turkey and reduced its financial aid to the accession candidate in a bid to increase the pressure on Ankara.