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EU welcomes Turkey poll, urges reforms amid stalled accession bid

13 June 2011 [20:27] - TODAY.AZ
European Union leaders on Monday welcome elections in Turkey that gave the ruling party a third consecutive term in parliament, expressing hope for "new opportunities... for strengthening confidence" between the country and the bloc it aspires to join, DPA reported.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy in a joint statement said the election could pave the way for further bringing Turkish political institutions "in line with European values and standards".

"We are convinced the coming period offers new opportunities for further reforms ... and for strengthening confidence between Turkey and all EU Member States."

Barroso and Van Rompuy also said: "Progress in these fields should also give new impetus to the accession negotiations with the European Union."

Turkey began negotiations for EU membership in 2005, but the talks have been stalled for almost a year, after the foreseen start of negotiations in the area of competition was postponed. The EU says it is because of insufficient progress from Turkey on the subject.

The near-halt of the discussions, however, has also been due to Turkey's unresolved conflict with Cyprus and Franco-German opposition to its application.

Poland, which takes over the EU's rotating presidency in July, has said it hopes to speed up Turkey's plans to join the bloc.

Barroso and Van Rompuy said they would welcome re-elected Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Brussels at his "earliest convenience."


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