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German Chancellor Merkel vows to block Turkey from joining European Union

04 September 2017

German leader Angela Merkel yesterday changed her position on Turkey's bid to join the European Union as she took part in a TV election debate, saying: "It is clear that Turkey should not become a member of the European Union".

"If I become German chancellor, if the people of this country give me a mandate, then I will propose to the European Council that we end the membership talks with Turkey", Mr Schulz said.

Merkel's tough stance came after Turkey arrested two more German citizens this past week "for political reasons", infuriating Berlin. "And still I will make every effort to persuade as many people as possible that this was the right thing to do and that we should continue on this path together". Germany says Turkey is now holding 12 of its citizens on "political grounds", as the BBC reported. After the debate, 53 percent supported Merkel and 39 percent backed Schulz.

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"Doesn't really matter whether he knows better or not", the chancellor said of Schulz, when pressed by the moderator.

Speaking in a TV interview last week, Merkel labeled diesel and other combustion engines "bridge technologies" toward a cleaner future and added that diesel cars would be needed not just for years, but "for decades more".

In the opening exchanges, Merkel rebuffed the moderators' suggestion that her backing for sovereign bailouts to preserve the euro area and her refusal to close Germany's borders at the height of the refugee crisis two years ago fueled the revival of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party.

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In talks with local leaders, the government is hoping to agree further measures to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions in the most affected cities and raise more resources to achieve medium and long-term results. Merkel also stressed that she would stick to her longtime policy of choosing worldwide cooperation over confrontation, including with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Recall, the U.S. Treasury Department will prepare a package of sanctions against North Korea for the economic isolation of this country.

Polls published after the televised debate put the chancellor ahead in the crucial clash.

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"The fact is clear that Turkey should not become a member of the EU", the Christian Democratic Union party leader said. He scored the debate as a draw on ARD television Monday.

German Chancellor Merkel vows to block Turkey from joining European Union