Wednesday

27th Mar 2019

Bush urges EU membership for Turkey

The US President has urged the EU to begin talks to bring Turkey into the European Union.

"As Turkey meets the EU standards for membership, the European Union should begin talks that will lead to full membership for the republic of Turkey", Mr Bush told Journalists after an EU-US summit in Dromoland, Ireland.

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  • Turkey - awaiting the crucial decision at the end of this year (Photo: European Commission)

Mr Bush’s comments came just hours before he arrives in Turkey for a NATO summit.

"Turkey is a proud nation that successfully blends a European identity with Islamic traditions", he said.

External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten said that the EU alone would decide if Turkey had met the criteria to begin talks on membership adding that he understood Mr Bush’s interest.

"America has a geo-strategic interest in a democracy in a modern Islamic state being consolidated", he said.

The Commission is scheduled to present its opinion on whether Ankara has fulfilled the political criteria for membership of the 25 country bloc in October.

On the basis of this report, EU leaders will then decide in December if formal membership negotiations should be opened with the country.

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