Turkey is key to European security: Fischer

12th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

12 July 2005, BERLIN - Squaring off on a key election campaign issue, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer Tuesday affirmed that Turkey is key to European security and that talks on its E.U. membership application must go ahead.

12 July 2005

BERLIN - Squaring off on a key election campaign issue, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer Tuesday affirmed that Turkey is key to European security and that talks on its E.U. membership application must go ahead.

"After more than four decades of promises, it is very short-sighted to slam the door in Turkey's face," Fischer said after talks with European Union Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn.

"It would be a very high price that we would have to pay if that happened," he said.

Fischer's remarks came amid a national debate over the scheduled October start of accession talks between the E.U. and Turkey.

Conservatives, led by Christian Democrat (CDU-CSU) standard-bearer Angela Merkel, have expressed reservations about Turkey's membership bid, noting that Turkey would become the E.U.'s most populous nation and the only predominately Moslem nation.

Merkel's Christian Democrats currently are favoured to win a planned September general election in Germany over the fragile centre-left coalition of Social Democrats and Greens. Fischer is the standard-bearer of the Greens party.

DPA

Subject: German news

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