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Door always open for Turkey's European integration

Politics Materials 17 January 2011 11:27
Turkey has come a long way in the process of European integration over the past 20 years and the door remains open for Ankara, ruling Moderate Party MP and a member of the Swedish Parliamentary Committee on European Affairs Gustav Blix said today.
Door always open for Turkey's European integration

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 17 / Trend U.Sadikhova /

Turkey has come a long way in the process of European integration over the past 20 years and the door remains open for Ankara, ruling Moderate Party MP and a member of the Swedish Parliamentary Committee on European Affairs Gustav Blix said today.

"Sweden is a great supporter for Turkish integration in the EU and membership," he said in an interview with Trend. "But it is also up to the Turks. The door is opened for the Turks but it is up to the individual countries whether it is true to provide and it has to be true for all countries. As the Swedes we do all as we can to maintain the door keeping open."

Turkey entered negotiations with the EU in 2005, but was able to start the discussion only on 13 of 33 chapters, which are required for approval, if a country wants to become a full EU member. Seventeen chapters are blocked due to Turkey's refusal to recognize the Republic of Cyprus, which since 2004 has been a part of the EU. France and Germany remain staunch opponents of Turkish EU membership, offering Ankara the status of a privileged EU partner instead.

The longstanding Cyprus problem is a major stumbling block in the negotiation process between Turkey and the EU. Ankara has repeatedly said it will not open its ports to Cyprus until the international isolation of the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has ceased. Turkey also refuses to recognize the Republic of Cyprus until the problem of the divided island is resolved.

The continuing process of the country's entry into the EU was at the brink of failure in March 2010 after the Swedish parliament adopted a resolution on the so-called "Armenian Genocide." Ankara recalled its ambassador from Stockholm in protest.

Blix, whose party opposed the decision, said parliament took too hasty a step in this important matter.

"The resolution did not close a door but it was disturbing. It is an issue for historian and others. It is important to take steps to solve this issue, but not by politicians," he said.

The tragic events of 1915, he said, touched not only the Armenians, but also the Turks, the Greeks and other peoples. Therefore, such issues should be resolved by historians, he added.

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