Turkey not to waive EU membership bid: deputy PM

18:55, November 04, 2010      

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Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said Thursday Turkey would not waive or make concessions on its bid to join the European Union (EU), the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

Babacan, who is also state minister for economy, said Turkey was still determined to become an EU member despite serious problems in the membership process.

"There were some circles in the EU that were expecting Turkey to give up the membership bid, but Turkey would never do so," the cabinet minister was quoted of telling a meeting in Istanbul.

"The government is doing its best to keep the process on the right track and make progress," he said, while complaining that many political issues or politically-oriented factors prevented Turkey from advancing on the path.

Turkey became an EU candidate country in December 1999 and launched accession talks with the EU in October 2005, but only 13 out of 35 chapters, or negotiating areas, have been opened so far. Eight chapters remain frozen since 2006 because Turkey refuses to open its ports to Greek Cypriot government, a member state of the EU.

French and German leaders have urged the country to grant some kinds of partnership with the EU instead of full membership.

Turkey considered the EU membership bid a win-win process, which was beneficial to both sides whether or not Turkey becomes a full member in the end, said Babacan.

Source: Xinhua


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