Czech agrees with EU negotiations with Turkey

Czech Prime Minister Stanislav Gross (CSSD) will take this stand to the EU summit in December which is to make a definitive decision on the start of the integration process with the Muslim country of 70 million.

The Czech "yes" is cautious and conditional. The Czech government stresses that Ankara must fulfill all membership criteria and that it is not automatically guaranteed that the talks will result in EU admission.

"It is an open process. It is not a promise of any timetable when the negotiations should be completed and the result is not guaranteed either. The important thing is that the process is beginning and that the government agreed with," Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda said.

Turkey has been seeking EU entry since 1963.

Svoboda added that another criteria will be the EU’s ability toexpand and include such a large country.

"We are based in the fact that the European Council named Turkey a candidate country and has promised to begin negotiations with Turkey in 2002," Svoboda added. Enditem

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