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Luxembourg's FM voices support for Turkey's EU membership

11-30-2011 13:09 BJT

ANKARA, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn on Tuesday voiced support for Turkey's bid for the membership of the European Union (EU).

"Europe is now a regional player, but we need Turkey if we want a global role. Europe could become a global player together with Turkey," Asselborn told a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu following their talks in the Turkish capital of Ankara.

Asselborn said a majority of the EU countries favored the continuation of Turkey's accession negotiations, adding that Europe needed Turkey's membership not only for political reasons but also for economic concerns.

"Europe is not a fortress, and we need countries around us. Blockading Turkey's membership would be a huge mistake for future generations both in Turkey and in Europe," he noted.

Turkey started the accession talks with the EU in 2005, but the talks has only been open on 13 of the 35 chapters that must be negotiated. The EU Commission has suspended talks on eight chapters due to Turkey's refusal to open its ports and airports to the traffic from the EU member Cyprus.

In addition, France, a vocal opponent of the Turkish membership, also blocks the talks on five chapters that it says are directly related to the accession.

Davutoglu said that he discussed with Asselborn the bilateral relations during their talks and the two sides stressed their cooperation in the fight against terrorism and toward boosting the trade volume.

Noting that Luxembourg is a financial center in Europe, Davutoglu said that they discussed further relations between the city of Luxembourg and Istanbul, a financial center in Eurasia.

Davutoglu underlined that Luxembourg has always supported Turkey's EU membership, adding that the EU is going through a critical process and Turkey's membership will contribute to strengthening the bloc.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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