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Juncker: EU's hand remains outstretched to Turkey

European Commission Jean-Claude Junker chats with Greek Prime minister Alexis Tsipras during their meeting in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, Greece, on Thursday, July 13, 2017. Junker is in Greece to meet Greek officials and receive an honorary doctorate by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

European Commission Jean-Claude Junker chats with Greek Prime minister Alexis Tsipras during their meeting in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, Greece, on Thursday, July 13, 2017. Junker is in Greece to meet Greek officials and receive an honorary doctorate by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

BERLIN — The head of the European Union's executive body says the EU's hand remains outstretched to Turkey but is renewing warnings that Ankara will not get EU membership if reinstates the death penalty.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wrote in Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper that Turkey being democratic, stable and economically successful is important to the EU. He said Turkey should "move closer to Europe rather than moving away from us."

Turkey's 12-year-old EU membership talks have ground to a halt.

Juncker stressed the bloc is a "union of values." He added "if Turkey were to introduce the death penalty, the Turkish government would definitively slam the door on EU membership."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday he would approve a bill reinstating the death penalty if parliament proposed it.

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