German FM says 'not to block Turkey EU bid'

Germany will not block Turkey's bid to join the European Union, German's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said.

German FM says 'not to block Turkey EU bid'

Germany will not block Turkey's bid to join the European Union, German's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Thursday.

But, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed opposition to Ankara's bid, saying it should be offered a "privileged partnership" short of full membership. Turkey has rejected the idea.

"Let me state categorically that what has been agreed between the EU and Turkey is still valid. This German government will honour these undertakings. You have my word on that," Westerwelle told a news conference in Ankara, according to a copy of his speech made available to journalists.

"(Membership talks) are an open-ended process. They do not imply anything automatic. The outcome cannot be guaranteed at the outset," he said.

Westerwelle referred to the Copenhagen criteria required for membership of the 27-nation bloc, covering such areas as democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

"Strict compliance with the Copenhagen criteria remains a prerequisite for accession," he said.

German foreign minister said that problems in Near East could be solved by Turkey's significant position and role.

Westerwelle said Germany had a "great interest" on improvement of Turkish-German relations and Turkey's adhesion to the EU.

Nearly 3 million people of Turkish origin has been living in Germany and 4 million Germans visit Turkey every year, he said.

Turkey had a key role on the international platform, and it had a important position in solution of problems in problematic regions, he said.

German FM Westerwelle will keep holding talks with Turkish authorities in Ankara on Thursday.



Agencies

Last Mod: 08 Ocak 2010, 08:39
Add Comment