Obama: "Turkey's EU membership wpuld benefit Europe"
The European Union Europe would benefit from the diversity of ethnicity, tradition and faith that Turkish membership would bring, and Turkey would only broaden and strengthen Europe's foundation, US President Barack Obama told Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the Anatolia news agency reported yesterday. Saying that accepting Turkey into the Union isn't the US' decision, Obama added, however, that Washington continues to strongly support Turkey's EU accession. He said he hopes Turkey will move forward in realizing the reforms necessary for membership. Obama added that he is confident that a Turkey able to fulfill the EU membership criteria will contribute to the bloc itself and that fulfilling these will also benefit Turkey. "As I said in April of last year in Ankara," he said, "Turkey is bound to Europe by more than bridges over the Bosphorous. Centuries of shared history, culture, and commerce bring you together."