Merkel: We have common interests with Turkey
“Our political values differ in many areas and yet we have common interests,” Merkel said in an interview with the daily Suddeutsche Zeitung.
She highlighted Turkey's important role for a political solution in Syria and in the fight against terrorism, as areas where both countries share common interests.
“Foreign policy is always conducted as a mixture of values and interests, and one also needs to find the right balance here,” she said, dismissing criticism by German opposition parties about her government's Turkey policy.
“The current developments after the local elections do not make it more likely that Turkey will join the European Union,” she said, adding that she has always been skeptical about a full membership perspective, but favored “special relations” between the EU and Turkey.
Turkey's EU membership process has long been a divisive issue in German politics, as Social Democrats have backed a full membership perspective but Christian Democrats favored a special partnership with Turkey.
Weber is bidding to become the European Commission president after Jean-Claude Juncker, whose term will end in October.