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Germany

Fischer: Turkey Should Be Full EU Member

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Monday he is confident that Turkey will join the European Union, albeit maybe not for 15 years, and warned against offering Ankara anything less than full membership, news agency AFP reported. Speaking as EU foreign ministers gathered ahead of a Brussels summit later this week, Fischer said the bloc must give Turkey approval to encourage it to continue with reforms. "It is in all our interests to decide on starting negotiations in the light of the progress which Turkey has made," he said, referring to deep political and economic reforms pushed through in recent years by the Ankara government. An EU summit Thursday and Friday is widely expected to give a green light for Turkey to start accession talks, while at the same time establishing a series of strict conditions. Some countries are still skeptical of Turkey’s EU membership and are calling for a “privileged partnership” with Ankara instead. Fischer, however, cautioned against this. “For us the aim is (EU) membership ... any watering down of that aim would in my view lead to an interruption in the successful reform process in Turkey," he added.

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