Finnish Parliament Speaker Says Turkey is Important for European Union

Iran Materials 9 October 2006 17:36 (UTC +04:00)

(zaman) - Paavo Lipponen, the Finnish Parliament Speaker and Chairman of the Party of European Socialists (PES), has stressed that Turkey's membership would be an asset for the European Union (EU).

Chairman Lipponen said at the Adnan Menderes Airport in Izmir on Sunday that Turkey is a candidate country for the EU. "There is no returning from that", Mr. Lipponen underlined, reports Trend.

Mr. Lipponen assured that Finland, the current holder of the EU term presidency, will keep doing its best to make progress on Turkey's EU bid, adding that there are still some problems. "We are working very hard to overcome these problems", he added.

Referring to the so-called Armenian genocide, Lipponen noted it could not be a pre-condition for Turkey's EU membership.

Lipponen will meet PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, FM Abdullah Gul and Turkish Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc in Ankara during his contacts in Turkey.