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EU weighs cutting pre-membership funds to troubling Turkey

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is studying whether and how to cut pre-membership funds to Turkey over alleged human rights abuses and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's hostile rhetoric about Europe.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said Friday that the European Commission, which supervises EU laws, has been asked "to reflect on whether to cut and re-orient the pre-accession funds." Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says "two or three options" are under evaluation.

Tusk told reporters after chairing a summit of EU leaders that the 28-nation bloc wants "to keep the door open to Ankara, but the current reality in Turkey is making this difficult." He underlined that "Turkey needs to respect all member states in its relations with the EU."

The EU has earmarked 4.5 billion euros ($5.3 billion) for Turkey in 2014-2020.

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