The President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, hailed the Tuesday election of Abdullah Gul as Turkey's president as an opportunity for progress in European Union accession talks.
"I want to congratulate you wholeheartedly on your election as President of the Republic of Turkey. I am confident that you will fulfil your task with a strong sense of duty and commitment to your country and fellow citizens," Barroso said in a statement.
The election, which follows the victory of Gul's Justice and Development Party (AKP) in parliamentary elections in July, "provides an opportunity to give fresh, immediate and positive impetus to the accession process to the European Union," he added.
"During the past five months, Turkey's political life has focused on the legislative and presidential elections. Now a new government will come to power and will be able to resume work with a clear popular mandate," he said.
Turkey is currently a candidate for EU accession, and has provisionally completed negotiations in one of 35 areas mandated under the EU's strict enlargement rules.
However, on Monday French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave a speech in which he seemed to soften his opposition to Turkey's EU aspirations.
France would not oppose the opening of negotiations in further areas if a "fundamental reflection" on the future of the EU were undertaken by its 27 member nations, he told French ambassadors. EU sources welcomed the comment as "constructive."
Last Mod: 29 Ağustos 2007, 10:50