Door on Turkey's EU bid should remain open, Slovenian FM says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 09.02.2020 18:21
The Turkish national flag L and the EU flag are pictured ahead of a summit on relations between the European Union and Turkey and on managing the migration crisis, Brussels, Nov. 29, 2015. AFP File Photo
The Turkish national flag (L) and the EU flag are pictured ahead of a summit on relations between the European Union and Turkey and on managing the migration crisis, Brussels, Nov. 29, 2015. (AFP File Photo)

Slovenia is against blocking Turkey's bid to become a member of the European Union, the country's Foreign Minister Miro Cerar said Sunday.

"We are against closing the door on Turkey's path to EU," Cerar told Anadolu Agency after holding bilateral talks with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara Monday.

Cerar highlighted that Slovenia values friendly relations with Turkey and that the strategic partnership agreement signed in March 2011 has reinforced cooperation between the two countries.

He continued by noting that Turkey and the EU are "natural" and "strategic" partners.

"It is quite important to develop an open sense of dialogue and strengthen cooperation under this framework," Cerar said.

The Slovenian foreign minister added that there may be some disagreement among EU member states on the bloc's enlargement policy. "We need positive stories to oppose those who are against the EU's enlargement." He said Slovenia would continue to support Turkey's goal to become a member of the bloc.

Regarding Turkey's handling of the refugee crisis, Cerar said Turkey is a significant partner in managing the migrant wave.

"The Turkey-EU cooperation on migration is better than in any other field and from what I've seen, mutual confidence has facilitated the protection of the spirit of cooperation," he said.

Signing a partnership agreement with the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1963, Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987, became a member country in 1999 and accession talks began in 2005. But negotiations stalled in 2007 due to objections from the Greek Cypriot administration on the divided island of Cyprus as well as opposition from Germany and France. Ankara, which maintains the strategic goal of EU membership, has been calling for some time now for the EU to conclude the process either way instead of stalling.

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