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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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Germany claims post-Brexit U.K. a model for Turkey, Ukraine

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BERLIN, Germany - In light of ongoing negotiations on Brexit, the German foreign minister has now suggested that post-Brexit U.K. is a model for Turkey and Ukraine.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in an interview published on Tuesday, that the U.K.’s eventual Brexit deal could serve as a model for EU relations with Turkey and Ukraine.

Gabriel added, “We have to think about alternative forms of closer cooperation” if full EU membership isn’t an option.

In an interview with the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Gabriel said, “If we can get a smart deal with Britain that governs relations with Europe after Brexit, it could be a model for other countries: Ukraine and Turkey.”

The foreign minister further proposed that with Turkey, “a new, closer form of the customs union.”

While both Turkey and Ukraine are hoping that they want to be full members of the EU, the bloc is hesitant to include the two nations. 

The European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was compelled to warn that “Turkey is moving away in giant strides” from Europe after Turkey, which has been a candidate for EU membership for decades, launched a crackdown on the police and the judiciary following a failed in coup in 2016.

As part of the crackdown, thousands of journalists, academics and officials, including German citizens, were detained in Turkey.

Turkey already has a customs union with the EU which allows the trade of most goods without tariffs.

Meanwhile, an agreement between the EU and Ukraine on a “deep and comprehensive free trade area” formally came into force in September, aimed at allowing free trade of goods, services and capital, and visa-free travel for people for short stays.

Ukraine is required to follow through with a host of judicial and economic reforms, including tackling corruption, before it can be a candidate. 

The protracted conflict of the Ukrainian government with Russian-backed separatists in the east has also threatened the country’s stability.

Gabriel said that if full membership isn’t an option, “We have to think about alternative forms of closer cooperation.”

 

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