EU must accept Turkey's membership, Estonian president

April 18, 2010 - 0:0

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said Friday Europe must think about Turkey's membership from a global and strategic perspective and approve Turkey's membership.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Ankara on Friday, Ilves said that he was pleased to be in Turkey.
“I had visited Mr. Gul while he was the prime minister. I have warm feelings towards Turkey and have made statements in the past in support of Turkey,” Ilves said.
“Relations between Turkey and Estonia began a long time ago. Turkey had recognized Estonia as a new country at a time of occupation by the Soviet Union and rejected the Soviets' occupation of Estonia. Turkey has always had great support for Estonia,” Ilves said.
“Turkey has the right to be present in the EU. Europe must look at Turkey's membership from a strategic perspective,” Ilves said.
“There are Turcology departments in Estonia's universities and many Estonians know how to speak Turkish. It is crucial for the peoples of our two countries to get to know each other. Estonians come to Turkey as tourists and we expect to see Turkish tourists in Estonia,” Ilves also said.
Also The former secretary-general of the United Nations has said that Turkey should be a full member of the European Union.
Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan attended a ceremony in Washington, D.C. and said Turkey had fulfilled several reforms to join the EU and it should be a full EU member.
Annan said there were several problems in the region covering the Middle East and Afghanistan, noting that a country like Turkey was a beneficial one and it would be an important one in the region.
Turkey always assumed a constructive role in the region, he added.
Kofi Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1, 1997 to December, 31 2006. Annan and the United Nations were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.
(Source: Today's Zaman)