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Turkish FM urges EU to focus on added-value of Turkey’s membership November 25, 2009

Posted by Yilan in EU, European Union, Turkey.
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Turkish foreign minister has called the European Union to focus on added-value that Turkey’s EU accession would bring instead of questioning the country’s European identity.

“Fifty years after the establishment of relations between Turkey and the EU, it’s amazing that there are still those who question the European identity of our country. … Now, given the magnitude of the challenges and opportunities before us, we must abandon those grueling debates and focus on the added value that Turkey’s entry would involve,” Ahmet Davutoglu said in an article published Monday in Spanish daily El Pais.

Davutoglu said Turkey and Spain shared the idea that the Mediterranean should once again be a source of inspiration for peace and stability, adding that the idea had led the two countries to sponsor, the Alliance of Civilizations.

“With the Alliance of Civilizations, our countries have shown that, while preserving the uniqueness of our identities, we enrich each other through the recognition of others,” Davutoglu said.

The Turkish foreign minister said the world faced multiple challenges such as the financial crisis, energy security, illegal migration, epidemics, climate change, organized crime, extremism and terrorism.

“If the aim is to eradicate all forms of intolerance and discrimination which is based on religious grounds or otherwise, to promote a democratic and equitable international order, to achieve steady economic development and to do so in a sustainable way, entry of Turkey into the EU as a full member can make an important difference,” Davutoglu said.

“The main objective of our foreign policy has always been the maintenance of peace, stability and prosperity everywhere. The growing Turkish economic dynamism, coupled with demographic qualities, gives the EU a strategic choice when addressing economic imbalances and future challenges of population. When we are in a position to enter the EU as a full member we will assume responsibility for our part,” Davutoglu wrote.

Also Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Burak Ozugergin denied allegations that Turkey reached consensus or an agreement with France to form a partnership alternative to EU membership.

Ozugergin told reporters that Turkey’s accession process to the EU was an integral part of Turkey’s relations with France, replying to news suggesting that bilateral relations with this country was independent from the EU membership.

“Therefore such an agreement with France as mentioned in recent news has always been and will be out of the question,” said Ozugergin,.

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