Following German elections in September 2017, Chancellor Merkel observed that, due to human rights issues she does not foresee the opening of negotiations on modernising the EU-Turkey Customs Union. This indicates that the EU Council discussions on the proposed Commission negotiating mandate will remain inconclusive and no negotiations will start, not least because various other Member States (and the EP) have also expressed serious concerns over human rights, Turkey's refusal to recognise Cyprus and allow Cypriot ships and aircraft in its waters and airspace, as well as agricultural sensitivities.