Turkey hopeful during Ireland's EU presidency

Wed 26 December 2012 06:13 GMT | 11:13 Local Time

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EU Minister said Turkey was hopeful its bid to join the European Union would accelerate during Ireland's presidency of the EU.

Turkey's EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis said Turkey was hopeful its bid to join the European Union would accelerate during Ireland's presidency of the EU in the first half of next year.

Speaking to Irish Times during his Ireland visit last week, Bagis said "Turkey did not expect to become a full member of the EU during the Irish presidency but they were pragmatic and they would work very hard to achieve the goal of putting Turkish-EU relations on a much more reliable track". He added they thought with strong Irish support they could turn the process around.

Mary Fitzgerald, the Irish Times foreign policy correspondent wrote in her piece Bagis's statements on Turkey was heartened by signals from Paris that French president Francois Hollande, while stopping short of endorsing Ankara's candidacy, took a more sympathetic view than his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, who was strongly opposed to Turkey's accession.

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