Europe

Austria calls for freeze on Turkey's EU membership talks

  • Malta's Foreign Minister George Vella, center, speaks with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, left, and Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides right, during a group photo of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Malta's Foreign Minister George Vella said that the 28-nation bloc needed to make more efforts toward visa liberalization for Turkey in a sign to keep its important neighbor as a close partner. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    Malta's Foreign Minister George Vella, center, speaks with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, left, and Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides right, during a group photo of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Malta's Foreign Minister George Vella said that the 28-nation bloc needed to make more efforts toward visa liberalization for Turkey in a sign to keep its important neighbor as a close partner. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Malta's Foreign Minister George Vella, second right, speaks with, from left, Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault during a round table meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. In an interview with the Associated Press, Malta's Foreign Minister George Vella said that the 28-nation bloc needed to make more efforts toward visa liberalization for Turkey in a sign to keep its important neighbor as a close partner. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    Malta's Foreign Minister George Vella, second right, speaks with, from left, Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault during a round table meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. In an interview with the Associated Press, Malta's Foreign Minister George Vella said that the 28-nation bloc needed to make more efforts toward visa liberalization for Turkey in a sign to keep its important neighbor as a close partner. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

Austria wants the European Union to freeze membership talks with Turkey over Ankara's massive crackdown following the failed coup.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said Monday that the EU "must at least freeze the accession negotiations."

He said "it is wrong to continue accession negotiations as if nothing negative has happened in Turkey in the last few months."

Few EU states support Austria's stance.

On Thursday, EU leaders will discuss the bloc's deal with Turkey to stop tens of thousands of migrants arriving in Europe.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to open border gates after the European Parliament called last month for a freeze on membership talks.

Turkish authorities have arrested almost 38,000 people and purged more than 100,000 others from government jobs since the thwarted July 15 coup.