EC President Prodi to praise Turkey’s reforms during two-day visit
During the first visit of a European Commission (EC) President to Turkey in 40 years, Romano Prodi will repeat the strong wish of the EU to welcome Turkey as an equal and respected member. The visit will take place from January 15 to 16 in Ankara and Istanbul.
Prodi will praise the changes undertaken by the Turkish government to meet the EU accession criteria today and will call for the continuation and implementation of these reforms.
Prodi, who will be accompanied by Commissioner for Enlargement Günter Verheugen, will meet the President of the Republic Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the National Assembly Bülen Arinc, Minister for Foreign Affairs Abdullah Gül and the President of the Peoples Republican Party, the main opposition party in Turkey, Deniz Baykal. He will address the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and hold a speech at the Bogaziçi University in Istanbul.
The visit takes place at a crucial moment for Turkey. In nine months time, the Commission will present a report on the progress made by Turkey towards meeting the political criteria for EU accession, and will make a recommendation to the European Council who will decide, at its meeting in December 2004, on the possible opening of accession negotiations with Turkey. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)