Thursday, June 14, 2007


Ankara, 13 June (AKI) - Italian foreign minister Massimo D'Alema has described his country as a "vigilant" but if necessary "critical" ally of Turkey in its attempts to join the European Union. D'Alema who was in Ankara on Wednesday made the remarks in a letter he wrote to the editor-in-chief of the Italian business daily, Il Sole 24 Ore. "We have the ambition to propose ourselves as an attentive interlocutor with Turkey, as a partner that strengthened by a hard-won credibility, can maintain an intense dialogue - vigilant and if necessary critical - to support Turkey in its integration into Europe," D'Alema wrote in the letter.

"Europe does not 'export' democracy, with all the risks and uncertainties that entails, but it tends to generate or consolidate the indegenous democratic components of the countries that adhere or aspire to adhere to the European Union," the Italian foreign minister wrote in his letter to editor-in-chief Ferruccio De Bortoli.

Turkey's membership process would be evaluated on the basis of "specific and as yet unresolved issues, such as freedom of expression and religion, the still awaited solution to relations with Cyprus, the 'Kurdish issue' and relations with Armenia," D'Alema added in the letter.


Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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