While Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič backed Turkey’s full-fledged EU membership during his talks with Turkish head of state Abdullah Gul on November 2, the opposition Christian Democratic Movement has expressed a different opinion, the SITA newswire wrote.
Its chairman Ján Figeľ insists that the country should be awarded only a privileged partnership by the EU. He argued that though the European Union launched accession talks with Turkey in 2005 the country has so far opened only eleven of 35 chapters while negotiations on eight chapters have been frozen because Turkey refuses to recognise one of the EU members, the Cypriot Republic.
The KDH insists that a country which has not fulfilled the criteria in freedom of speech, gender equality, minority rights and freedom of religion should not become an equal member of the EU. If Turkey is not able to make significant progress in these important spheres, Europe should offer it only a relationship based on privileged partnership.
The KDH supports EU enlargement by countries of the western Balkans and its favourite is Croatia. The KDH sees the EU expansion as one of its priorities in foreign policy. Figeľ told the SITA newswire that the EU door should remain open to hopefuls in the long run. He stressed the importance of the integration prospect for Ukraine. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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