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    Karamalis: A European Turkey is in everyone's interest

    Hürriyet Haber
    25.09.2005 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was in Paris on Friday to meet with his French counterpart Dominique de Villepin, and President Jacques Chirac, ahead of Turkey's accession talks set to start on October 3. The visit comes at a time where disagreements within the EU bloc over Turkey's accession are running high. Although, the issues of Turkey and Cyprus were not discussed at the talks held, Karamalis did say, "The European Union must not take a step backwards and negotiate a "privileged partnership" with Turkey in place of full membership." "The EU recognized Turkey as a candidate country in 1999 without expressing any such reservation. The debate is legitimate but you cannot ignore the past," Karamanlis told French daily newspaper Le Figaro in an interview published yesterday. "The EU must maintain its credibility." The two European leaders discussed defense and security policies and did not touch upon Turkey and Cyprus. Speaking to the press Karamalis said, "Would it be just or even honest to say to Turkey that what we are proposing today is not exactly the same as what we were proposing six years ago?" "A European Turkey is in everyone's interest, particularly Greece."  The Greek prime minister also said that "all obstacles created by Turkey in terms of the recognition of Cyprus would be a problem for the negotiation process."
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