FM Davutoglu: "The EU needs Turkey more than Turkey needs the EU"
As part of his official talks in Ireland yesterday, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addressed academics and students at University College Dublin. Stressing that the European Union needs Turkey to have a stronger say in foreign policy, Davutoglu criticized naysayers of Turkey's EU accession bid and dismissed "privileged partnership" offers to Turkey in lieu of full EU membership. "Turkey is now wielding a stronger influence over regional issues. Actually I think the EU needs Turkey more than Turkey needs the EU in foreign policy," Davutoglu said. He also underlined the importance placed by Turkey on ties with Ireland, pointing to the key role that multiculturalism has played in guiding history. Asked about the incidents of 1915 during a question and answer session, Davutoglu said Turkey is ready share the pain and to reach a consensus, but is firmly against being blamed for a crime that it never committed. Criticizing as unethical a US House of Representatives committee's recent passage of a resolution to give official recognition to the so-called Armenian "genocide" claims, Davutoglu said this is no way to judge history. He said that during the centuries Turks and Armenians coexisted in peace, there had been no tension between them. In Dublin, Davutoglu also spoke at the Institute of International and European Affairs, calling Turkey part of Europe in every respect. Stating that Turkey and Ireland's future cooperation would make important contributions to both the international community and the EU, Davutoglu said that Turkey's EU accession would make the Union stronger on the global stage. Europe's history can't be written without Turkey, Davutoglu said. Touching on the Cyprus issue, Davutoglu said the EU had failed to keep its promises to the Turkish Cypriots. "Though Turkish Cypriots voted in favor of a UN plan to solve the Cyprus issue in 2004, they were punished, while the Greek Cypriot administration was allowed into the EU regardless of how they voted against the UN plan," he pointed out.