Turkey urges Germany to support its EU bid

17:19, March 31, 2010      

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday urged Germany to extend support for Ankara's European Union membership bid.

The Turkish leader made the statement at a meeting of the Turkish-German Business Forum in Istanbul, which was also attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of her two-day visit.

Erdogan said his country considered Germany as "a natural ally, " adding that "We want to see Germany as the country which makes the biggest contribution and extends the biggest support for Turkey's EU membership."

Turkey was eager to form a strategic partnership with Germany and set up a council for high-level strategic cooperation, he said.

Along with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Merkel remains one of the staunchest opponents of Turkey's bid to join the European Union, arguing that a vast, relatively poor country with a mainly Muslim 71-million population has no place in Europe.

Source: Xinhua

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