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Foreign Minister Paet: Estonia Supports Turkey and Serbia’s Movement Towards European Union

30.06.2011

No. 226-E

At his meeting with European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised that Estonia supports the European Union’s further steps in bringing Turkey and Serbia closer to the EU.

Foreign Minister Paet said that it’s good that accession negotiations with Croatia are developing successfully. “We hope that they will soon be complete,” said Paet. The foreign minister added that it is also positive that substantial negotiations with Iceland will begin very soon.

The foreign minister also expressed hope that EU-oriented reforms in Turkey would gain new momentum following the elections that took place on 12 June so that it would be possible to move forward with accession negotiations. “Affirming Turkey’s EU prospects requires both words and deeds,” he added. Paet said that it is in the EU’s interests to achieve an agreement on the readmission of individuals with Turkey. “This is essential for keeping illegal immigration under control. An agreement could be reached while continuing visa waiver negotiations with Turkey,” he said.

In talking about relations between the European Union and Serbia, Paet said that Estonia supports starting EU accession negotiations with Serbia. “But it’s also important that Serbia’s talks with Kosovo continue and produce practical outcomes,” he added.

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