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Home >> World
UPDATED: 11:32, September 29, 2005
Latvia, Estonia, Sweden support Turkey's entry into EU
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Foreign ministers of Latvia, Estonia and Sweden Wednesday said here that their governments support Turkey to join the European Union (EU).

The expansion of the EU would promote peace and stability in the region, said the ministers at a joint news conference.

Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds said that the Swedish government firmly supports Turkey's entry into the EU as it would be a guarantee for regional peace and stability and improve EU's relations with eastern countries.

However, it might take at least 10 years for Turkey to gain the EU membership, she pointed out.

Latvian Foreign Minister Artis Pabriks said that EU should prepare for Turkey's entry and some EU member states should overcome their worries about the EU expansion.

The EU announced on Aug. 29 that Turkey's entry talks will be opened on Oct.3 despite Ankara's refusal to recognize the internationally-recognized Greek Cypriot government.

In July, Turkey signed customs agreement with 10 new EU member states including Cyprus, which is a key condition for the opening of Ankara's EU accession talks.

However, Turkey stressed that the agreement did not mean its recognition of Cyprus.

Cyprus, which gained independence from Britain in 1960, has been split into Greek Cypriot south and Turkish Cypriot north since 1974 when Turkish troops took control of the northern third.

Efforts by the international community to reunite the island have so far failed, and the south Cyprus joined the EU in May, 2004, leaving the north Cyprus, only recognized by Turkey, outside the bloc.

Source: Xinhua

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