1/8/2008

EU President aims to advance Turkey talks

Reuters - New European Union President Slovenia will seek to push ahead on accession talks with Turkey during its six-month stewardship of the bloc but cannot guarantee progress, its prime minister said. "We will try and enter negotiations on some new chapters but of course we need total support from other member states. We will work on that but we cannot guarantee the outcome," Prime Minister Janez Jansa told a news conference. The EU began accession talks with Turkey in October 2005 and has so far opened five of the 35 so-called "chapters" of reform work that must be completed to conclude the accession process. The EU said last year it hoped to open talks on two or three others in the first half of 2008. But diplomats see resistance from France, whose President Nicolas Sarkozy opposes Turkish membership.