Turkey moving in wrong direction - EP official

VIENNA -- European parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee chair Elmar Brok has said that Turkey is "increasingly moving away from Europe."

In an interview with the Vienna daily Standard the German MEP pointed out that, "because of the way Turkey was dealing with the press and the opposition," the EU will not be able to now open negotiations on new chapters.

"It is becoming increasingly difficult, especially when fundamental rights of freedom of expression are violated. We have to see how to return Turkey to the right path since it is moving in the wrong direction," stressed Brok.

Addressing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) criticism over insufficient reforms in Ukraine, he said the new government was established there just a few weeks ago, but that the necessary measures should be implemented.

According to Brok it is about the process of transformation that other countries went through, which are in the Stabilization and Association Agreement.

"To carry out such a reform process while Russia is waging war in the country and holding a part of it, is not easy. It must be borne in mind that the Russian policy of destabilization has an effect," he said, voicing his supporting for the sanctions against Moscow.

As for Palestine, Brok said that the European People's Party believes it should not be "unconditionally recognized" but added the party supports the two state solution, which includes recognition of Palestine.

"This should take place gradually and in compliance with developments in the peace talks," said Brok, announcing that the faction would vote against recognition of Palestine in the EP.