Belgium: Merkel opines on Iran, Turkey and Brexit during Brussels presser

German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed a range of topics including the Iran nuclear deal, the Turkish situation and the future of Brexit negotiations during a press conference in Brussels, late on Thursday. Merkel was highly critical of Turkey's human rights record, but praised the nation for its efforts in dealing with Syrian refugees. «The situation regarding human rights is unacceptable... Еще, the fact that Turkey is moving away, step-by-step, from something which we consider necessary pre-conditions for EU membership,» Merkel explained. «However, we all agreed on the fact that we must acknowledge and support the fact that Turkey made contributions to people who had to flee from Syria.» Moving on, Merkel spoke about the need to continue talks with the US over the Iran nuclear deal, despite the Iran's 'counterproductive' meddling in the region. «It was clear that the EU completely stands by the agreement, nevertheless, we must also face up to the challenge of continuing our close ties with the American congress in order to do whatever we can to keep the agreement alive. Part and parcel of the endeavour is to be outspoken about the fact that Iran has taken a whole host of initiatives in the region which we view as counterproductive,» Merkel said. Her final topic was that of Brexit, and the German leader showed optimism after talks had advanced but insisted both sides must do more in order to conclude a deal. «The UK has sent out clear signals, not enough, but more than we had previously received,» Merkel told the press. «When all 27 members meet again tomorrow, we will discuss how to move on from here, and the good spirit of the negotiations will be maintained.»

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