German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday called for progress in Turkey's European Union membership talks, but noted that the outcome remained "open."
After meeting visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Hangover, Merkel expressed her hope that new chapters would be opened during the current German EU presidency which ends in June.
The meeting took place before the formal opening later Sunday of the Hanover Trade Fair, where Turkey is partner country this year.
"There is no question that Europe and Turkey should move together closely," Merkel said. "We are looking ahead."
However, the German chancellor, who has insisted that the EU and Turkey could have "a privileged partnership," rather than full EU membership, stressed that the outcome of the negotiations with Turkey remains "open."
"We are on a long and narrow road," Erdogan said, recognizing that patience is needed for the talks.
In an interview with the German news magazine Der Spiegel ahead of the talks, Erdogan expressed disappointment in the current German EU presidency.
"We would like a clear date goal, a roadmap, a timetable for the talks. The Europeans could thereby show out people that they are serious," he said.
Germany and Turkey enjoy a close relationship. German enterprises employ 50,000 people in Turkey while 3.7 million Germans travel to Turkey. About 2.5 million Turkish people live in Germany.