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Germany

Schröder: EU Will Include Turkey

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said Monday that the European Union would probably decide unanimously in December to open negotiations with Turkey. "I assume that there is a good chance of finding the necessary unanimity," the chancellor said during a press conference in Prague with his Czech counterpart Stanislav Gross. The European Commission is due to present a report on Wednesday on Turkey's candidature for EU accession. If the Commission says that Turkey fulfils the necessary criteria for an envisaged accession, the heads of state and government of the 25 EU members will have to decide during a Brussels summit in mid-December whether to open negotiations with the country. Asked about French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin's hesitation regarding Turkey, Schröder said that he valued the position of French President Jacques Chirac. "That's what counts in the European Council and it's like the German position," he said. (AFP)

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