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Prime Minister: Estonia supports the accession of Turkey to the European Union

25. February 2010 - 10:21

Tallinn, Stenbock House, 25 February 2010 – Today, Prime Minister Andrus met with Egemen Bagis, Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator. They discussed both the accession negotiations of Turkey with the European Union and the bilateral relations between Estonia and Turkey. The Prime Minister confirmed the strong support of Estonia to the expansion of the European Union.

In the expansion of the European Union, in Ansip’s words, the key issue is the homework done by the candidate country “The consistency of reforms and the actual implementation of changes are important because it is only work like this that guarantees success,” he declared. “Experience shows that not only the new, but also the old Member States of the European Union have benefited from the expansions made so far,“ he said. The Prime Minister also admitted that this has happened due to the accession of strong candidates who were able to successfully conduct domestic reforms. “Estonia supports the accession of Turkey to the European Union; it is a process from which all parties will benefit,” Prime Minister Ansip stressed.

Egemen Bagis pointed out that Turkey is actively engaged in the introduction of European Union standards in all fields of life. The Turkish market with a large population, the immediate proximity of energy resources and the significant position in the battle against illegal migration and drug transit are the fields of cooperation the potential of which could be exerted the more Turkey is integrated with the European Union.

At the meeting, economic cooperation between the two countries was also discussed. In 2009, Turkey was visited by almost 40 000 people from Estonia. Cooperation in the field of tourism and goods exchange can also be rated as good. But according to the Prime Minister, economic relations could be improved even further by way of establishing a direct flight connection. “I hope that the planned Istanbul-Tallinn direct flight will become a reality and the relations between the two countries will intensify even more,” he noted.

The great diplomatic relations between the two countries were also discussed, the foundation for which was laid already before World War II. The Prime Minister again stressed the importance of Turkey’s non-recognition policy towards the occupation of Estonia by the Soviet Union. It was jointly declared that cooperation is great both on the bilateral and international level, for example, in NATO. Among other things, Turkey has also protected the Baltic air space. Turkey also participates in the work of the NATO Cyber Defence Centre in Tallinn.

See photos of the meeting at: http://www.valitsus.ee/redirect/223