Irish minister says her country to support Turkey’s EU bid
Ireland’s minister for European affairs has said her country would support Turkey reach its membership goal during its term presidency of the European Union (EU).
Irish Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton, met with Turkish EU Minister & Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis in capital Ankara on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters prior to the gathering, Creighton pointed to Ireland’s taking over the rotating presidency of the EU in January 2013 and said the Irish presidency would be as ambitious as possible on the enlargement policy portfolio.
Expressing the Irish government’s support for Turkey’s EU bid, Creighton said, “I hope that during our time as presidency of the EU we will be able to assist in furthering your goals in that regard.”
Creighton, who pays her first visit to Turkey, also said Turkey and Ireland had a number of characteristics in common.
Both countries had been reconstituted under a new system of government in the early 1920s, moreover, they were both proud of their identity, long history, as well as their contributions to civilization, she said.
“Although we are both on the periphery of the continent of Europe we share a European vocation,” she continued.
Describing Turkish-Irish relations as excellent, the minister said Ireland would continue to build its trade and investments with Turkey.
Praising also Turkish government’s successful efforts in the country’s EU accession process, Creighton pointed to issues of democratization and improvement of human rights.
“We have all witnessed the transformative effect of enlargement many times in recent years in the former communist countries of Eastern Europe and now in the Balkans region. I am confident that the prospect of accession will continue to have a transformative effect in Turkey, too,” she said.
The minister also noted that the accession process had already assisted Turkey in addressing a number of priorities such as the civilian oversight of security forces, reforms of the judiciary, freedom of religion, observance of fundamental rights and freedoms in law.
“I am confident that the accession negotiations will help to promote reform in all of these and other areas,” Creighton said.
10 July 2012
SOURCE: CUMHURIYET ENGLISH