Stalling Turkey’s EU accession talks was ‘historic mistake’: Italian Defense Minister

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 29.11.2015 20:07
Updated 29.11.2015 20:10
Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti gives a speech during the State funeral for an Italian victim of Paris attacks, in Venice, Italy November 24, 2015. (REUTERS Photo)
Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti gives a speech during the State funeral for an Italian victim of Paris attacks, in Venice, Italy November 24, 2015. (REUTERS Photo)

Italy's Defense Minister Roberta Pinnotti said stalling Turkey's accession process in the European Union while the country was willing to become a member was a "historic mistake".

Speaking in an interview in Italy's SKYTG TV news channel on Sunday, Pannotti criticized some European countries and leaders, particularly Nicholas Sarkozy, France's former president and a fierce opponent of Turkey's membership in the EU, for the stalled talks.

She added that the lack of dialogue between Turkey and the EU made it hard for the parties to resolve current problems.

"Now, this opportunity is back on the table. We have to ask ourselves, whether Europe wants to build a better dialogue with Turkey or just drop the issue even though it would make the relations between the EU and Turkey more detached." Pinotti said.

In an effort to find an effective solution to the most overwhelming refugee crisis since World War II, on Sunday the European Union organized an extraordinary summit with Turkey after a long time, asking for Ankara's help on the issue in exchange for financial aid and several concessions.

According to a draft agreement, the EU also aims to implement visa-free travel for Turks as soon as October 2016 if Ankara meets certain criteria specified in an agreed roadmap.

The draft agreement states that both the EU and Turkey have agreed to re-energize accession talks in December.

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