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German foreign minister: Death penalty would prevent Turkish EU membership

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks during a news conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, July 1, 2016. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Any move by Turkey to reinstate the death penalty after the failed military coup would derail its efforts to join the European Union, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in Brussels on Monday.

“Reintroduction of the death penalty would prevent successful negotiations to join the EU,” Steinmeier told reporters. He said Germany expected Turkey to deal with those responsible for the attempted coup in line with the rule of law.

Turkey decided to abolished capital punishment in 2004, allowing Ankara to open EU accession talks the following year, but the negotiations have made scant progress since then.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday there could be no delay in using capital punishment after a failed coup attempt, adding the government would discuss it with opposition parties.

Reporting by Tom Körkemeier; Writing by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Michael Nienaber