Germany backs reviving Turkey's EU membership talks
Germany supports reviving stalled talks on Turkey's possible accession to the European Union, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Sunday, DPA reported.
Westerwelle also said after talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu that Germany wanted to deepen strategic ties with NATO member Turkey.
There has been no progress for more than two years in Turkey's EU accession bid, which dates back to 2005, largely because of French and German resistance and Turkey's tensions with EU member Cyprus.
But Paris and Berlin have indicated recently that talks may resume with the growing regional player and economic power.
Countries that apply for membership in the bloc have to bring their laws in line with EU rules in 35 areas, known as chapters. Turkey opened talks on 13 chapters before the process ground to a halt.
Westerwelle said there was "a realistic chance for progress" in the stalled membership talks.
Westerwelle told the Rheinischen Post newspaper: "No one today can say if and when Turkey will be ready to join the EU and if and when the EU will be ready to accept it."
Davutoglu said rising xenophobia in Europe could hamper majority Muslim Turkey's bid to join the bloc.
The two ministers agreed to hold rotating yearly meeting to deepen cooperation on education and the fight against terrorism.