Azerbaijan, Baku, July 12 / Trend U.Sadikhova /
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton expressed EU's satisfaction with the increasing role of Turkey in the regional processes in recent years, the European Union reported.
"Turkey's foreign policy has become more positive. We welcome the strengthening of the important role of Turkey in the region, and we look forward to expanding cooperation between us in this context," Ashton said.
EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule and Ashton will hold political consultations with the Turkish officials in Istanbul July 13 on expansion of cooperation between the EU and Ankara in the region. Turkey in the negotiations will be represented by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and chief mediator of Chief Negotiator for the EU talks Egemen Bakis.
"Political dialogue provides timely confirmation of Turkey's prospects of joining EU and the continuation of [the EU] enlargement process. The reforms ongoing in Turkey are movers of the process and the commission will continue to support the country in this," Fule said.
Relations and cooperation between Turkey and the EU began with the signing of the Ankara agreement in 1964. EU said that the 2002 Copenhagen criteria are essential in Turkey's membership. The country carried out serious reforms in the legal, political and economic spheres in accordance with these criteria. Since 2005, the sides began formal discussions regarding Turkey's entrance to the EU.
Turkey joined the leading European structures. Turkey is a member of the Council of Europe (the first pan-European organization for the protection of European values) since 1949 and a member of the main European security organization - NATO since 1952.
Supposedly, Turkey's accession to the European Union would entail the mutual economic benefit. Ankara will significantly expand the EU internal market and provide work force to the European companies suffering from the rapid aging of the indigenous population. An additional advantage may occur because the Turks have no problem with the skills, education and understanding of the secular traditions of Europe
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