Erdogan stresses global view, not petty partisanship, of Turkey's EU bid
Turkey's European Union membership bid should be considered through a global lens instead of fruitless debates, shortsighted policies and personal political ambitions, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. Speaking at the Third EU-Africa summit in Tripoli as the guest of honor of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Erdogan said Turkey's "zero problems with its neighbors" policy played a great role in its shaking off the global economic crisis. "Our struggle for stability in our region has brought Turkey both political and economic advantages," he said. "Yet there is also another issue, that of the terrorist acts that we face. Unfortunately, our urging the international community to combat terrorism went unheeded. The terrorist acts which began with the 9/11 attacks and then targeted Madrid and London showed how right Turkey was and how important international solidarity against terrorism is." Pointing to the importance of regional solidarity and cooperation, Erdogan said that EU membership for Turkey, which has historical ties with the Caucasus, Middle East, Balkans and Africa, is a very important opportunity for the EU in terms of regional solidarity. "Every shortcoming in Europe's neighborhood directly affects it," he said. "Turkey is the key country to bring stability to the region and help Europe forge healthier communication with the region, so Turkey's EU membership should be considered with a global vision."