THESSALONIKI, Greece — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says ending European Union accession talks with Turkey, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel has proposed, would be “a tactical and strategic mistake.”

Tspiras is urging continued engagement with Turkey, despite the authoritarian leanings of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Tsipras says “it’s a mistake to close the door and the perspective” of accession. He spoke at a press conference Sunday at the Thessaloniki International Fair, an annual trade exhibition.

Tsipras hinted that Erdogan would actually welcome an end to the dialogue, since it involves pressing ahead with “the needed democratization of the country.”

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