Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-05-21-Speech-3-078"

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"Madam President, provided that Turkey complies fully with all the Copenhagen criteria and the obligations it has entered into under the Association Agreement and the Supplementary Protocol to the Ankara Agreement, it can and should accede to the EU. It is perfectly clear to us that the aim is Turkey’s full accession and that a partnership of some kind is not an alternative. The prospect of Turkey’s accession to the EU will put pressure on the country to respect the human rights of everyone living in Turkey, including Kurds and religious minorities. Despite our concerns about the court proceedings now in progress on the question of the ruling party and the superficial change to Article 301 of the Criminal Code, we believe that Turkey has made some progress. However, if her accession course is to proceed unhindered, she must do as previous accession countries have done and comply with its treaty obligations to the EU as a whole. Turkey must therefore honour its commitments, open its air and sea ports to the aircraft and ships of the Republic of Cyprus, and lift the veto on Cyprus’s participation in international organisations. Today, as we watch progress being made thanks to the efforts of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities following the agreement of 21 March between the leaders of the two sides in Cyprus, Turkey must not stand in the way."@en1

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