Turkish FM Dismisses Alternatives to EU Membership

60528ANKARA (World Bulletin)–Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu rejected Friday any alternative which would rule out his country’s full membership in the European Union.

“All we ask of the EU is to respect its own values and keep its promises. Proposing alternative memberships is not only a disrespect not to us, but to the European culture itself,” Davutoglu said during a luncheon for EU ambassadors in Ankara marking Europe Day.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Tuesday the EU should create a common economic and security space between Turkey and the Union as an alternative to country’s full membership.

“We are aware of our duties in the accession process and we know very well that it is not the EU that will integrate with Turkey, it is Turkey that will integrate with the EU. We are ready to do our homework, but we are expecting from our European friends to act in line with the basic moral principles of Europe,” Davutoglu said.

The Turkish foreign minister also rejected the idea that letting Turkey in the EU would open the EU to threats from the more tense regions of the world.

“Over the last five years, Turkey has never brought instability or insecurity to the places it engaged but peace to the global system,” he said.

Turkey started accession negotiations with the EU in October 2005 in a bid to become the first Muslim member of the Union.

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