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Germany

German Chancellor Heads to Turkey

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder will pay a visit to Turkey on May 3-4 for talks expected to focus on the country's bid to join the European Union, Turkish government sources said Friday. Schröder is scheduled to meet with his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Ahmet Necdet Sezer in Ankara and also attend a meeting of Turkish and German businesspeople in Istanbul. Schröder's government is a staunch supporter of Turkey's EU bid, while the main opposition Christian Democratic Union advocates a special status for the Muslim-majority nation rather than full membership. Turkey is scheduled to begin accession talks with the EU on October 3. Germany is also Turkey's largest trading partner and home to the largest Turkish immigrant community in Europe, some 2.5 million people.

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