Turkey’s Goal: Full EU Membership

Posted October 12th, 2011 at 1:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Turkish European Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis told a news conference Wednesday that full membership to the European Union is Turkey's only goal and that no other outcome can be accepted.

Mr. Bagis made his remarks after the EU released its latest progress report on countries seeking EU membership It was critical of Turkey for not doing enough to normalize relations with EU-member Cyprus and expressed concern about tensions between the two countries.

Earlier this month the United Nations and the European Union asked Turkey and Cyprus to show restraint in a dispute over gas exploration rights in the Mediterranean, while the European Commission told Ankara to avoid threats that could further damage ties. A spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Monday called on both sides to reach a settlement as soon as possible.

The European Commission urged the EU and Turkey to continue their talks, but said no progress had been made in the last year. EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele said the lack of progress in Turkey's EU accession was frustrating to both Brussels and Ankara.