Turkey's Erdogan travels to Brussels to bolster EU bid

Turkey says European governments have double standards on Turkey's EU bid.

Turkey's Erdogan travels to Brussels to bolster EU bid
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan left for Brussels on Sunday to have several meetings with EU officials.

"This visit should be considered as expression of decisiveness of Turkey in EU reform and accession process," Erdogan said while speaking to reporters prior to his departure for Brussels.

Erdogan said, "we will have the opportunity to evaluate the point reached at Turkish-EU relations. We will also discuss ways to find a solution to global financial crisis, situation in Gaza, as well as the developments in the region and in the world."

Erdogan said the talks would also focus on cooperation opportunities in energy and fight against terrorism, "Middle East peace process, efforts to restore peace in the Caucasus, and other regional topics will also be on the agenda," he noted.

Erdogan said this visit was the first of its kind from Turkey to Brussels since 1996 in prime minister level, "it is at the same time my first visit to Brussels since 2004 December summit, which Turkey attended as candidate country."

The Turkish prime minister will also have talks with Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief; Hans-Gert Pottering, the president of the European Parliament (EP); and leaders of the political groups in the EP.

Erdogan will deliver speeches in two think-tanks including the European Policy Center and Friends of Europe, and visit the Istanbul Center in Brussels on Monday.

The prime minister is also scheduled to meet representatives of Turkish citizens and associations in Belgium during his two-day visit.

Erdogan is expected to return to Turkey on Tuesday.

European Commission President Barroso visited Turkey between April 10 and 12, 2008.

Turkey became an EU candidate country in December 1999. The union launched accession talks with Turkey on October 3, 2005.

Last Mod: 18 Ocak 2009, 13:13
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