EU to hold weekend talks on Turkey membership

EU to hold weekend talks on Turkey membership

[JURIST] The European Union [official website; JURIST news archive] will hold a meeting Sunday to discuss Austria's objections to beginning negotiations with Turkey [JURIST news archive] on the country's proposed membership to the EU [EU enlargement backgrounder]. All 25 of the EU nations must agree on a negotiating mandate before discussions with Turkey can begin, and Austria refused to vote in favor of the mandate Thursday, thereby creating a deadlock. Austria does not want Turkey to gain full membership to the EU, but rather be offered the option of a lesser partnership, saying the country is "too big and unready" to join fully. A British official speaking on the condition of anonymity said that bilateral talks will continue to take place between London and Vienna to attempt to get Austria to release its demands. If the EU fails to come to a consensus on Sunday, the negotiations with Turkey, currently scheduled to begin Monday, will be delayed. AP has more.