|European Union officials expressed relief on Wednesday that Turkey's highest court had decided not to ban the ruling AKP on charges of Islamist activities.
"Of course we have to read it now in more detail, but it is positive. Turkey is living a tense situation and we very much hope that the decision by the court will contribute to restore political stability," Cristina Gallach, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said, told Reuters.
The French EU presidency and the European Commission had no immediate official comment but a diplomat familiar with EU thinking said the ruling was welcome because it removed a potential obstacle to Turkey's slow-moving accession process.
"This is excellent news because having the sword of Damocles hanging over the main party which democratically controls the government and institutions was terrible," the diplomat said.
Another diplomat said the French presidency, during its six months in the chair, intended to open negotiations with Ankara on two or three additional policy areas out of the 35 into which EU law is divided, provided there was no big political setback.