British prime minister to push for Turkish EU membership
British Prime Minister David Cameron Tuesday will deliver a speech in the Turkish capital in which he offers his country's strong support for Turkey's troubled European Union membership bid, DPA reported.
"I will remain your strongest possible advocate for EU membership and for greater influence at the top table of European diplomacy. This is something I feel very passionately about," Cameron is expected to say at a speech to be given the Union of Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), an powerful business organisation.
"Together, I want us to pave the road from Ankara to Brussels," he will say, according to a excerpts of the speech released by the British embassy in Ankara.
Cameron's speech will also offer criticism of those European countries that have been less receptive of Turkey joining the EU.
"When I think about what Turkey has done to defend Europe as a Nato ally, it makes me angry that your progress towards EU membership can be frustrated in the way it has been," he will say.
"My view is clear. I believe it's just wrong to say Turkey can guard the camp but not be allowed to sit inside the tent."
Cameron is in Turkey on a two-day visit, accompanied by his Foreign Secretary, William Hague. On Monday he met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Britain has traditionally been among the strongest supporters of the bid in Europe. Cameron, who has been in office for some three months, is continuing this policy line, despite the objection of right-wing Conservatives at home.
Hague recently said that Turkey is among a handful of emerging global powers that Britain plans to strengthen relations with.