UK and US step up pressure over Turkey talksI am a strong supporter of the "Anglosphere", but sometimes the Brits and the Americans are wrong, and continental Euros are right. That certainly is the case regarding Turkey and the EU:
Fitzgerald: Jack Straw: Idiots Rule
Idiots rule. Straw is a fool. Historians know it. Visitors to Jihad Watch know it. When will enough people in England know it?
UK and US step up pressure over Turkey talks
Both Britain and the US stepped up the public pressure on the EU to stick to its promise to open membership talks with Turkey next month amid growing concern that the proccess is becoming derailed. In a strongly worded speech on Thursday (8 September), UK foreign secretary Jack Straw said "We all have an interest in the modernisation of Turkey and of reform there." "If we make the wrong decision, we could find that we have a crisis on our own doorstep", said Mr Straw, according to UK media. In the meantime, the US which strongly supports Turkey entering the EU for strategic and geopolitical reasons, has been watching closely from the sidelines. Yesterday, it also chose to make public statements on the matter. During a visit to Brussels, Kurt Volker, principle deputy assistant US secretary of state, said "It is in the interests of the EU, it is in the interests of Turkey, it is in our interests to see accession talks begin ... I hope that some longer-term perspectives would prevail".
British Foreign Secretary: let the Turks into the EU, or someone may get hurt
The Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, warned in a hard-hitting speech that snubbing Ankara's hopes would give ammunition to Islamic extremists, while welcoming it into the EU would help avert a "clash of civilisations" between the Muslim world and the West. Failure to start EU membership negotiations on 3 October as scheduled could lead Europe into a "crisis on our own doorstep," Mr Straw said.
Turkey's EU dream dealt double blow as Chirac and Merkel raise doubts
Turkey's 40-year dream of joining the European family suffered a double blow yesterday when Jacques Chirac and Angela Merkel, Germany's conservative leader, raised serious doubts about forthcoming talks on EU membership. In his most significant intervention of the year on Turkey, the French president accused Ankara of failing to act "in the spirit" of a country hoping to join the EU.The interventions by Mr Chirac and Mrs Merkel show that within weeks Turkey could face the nightmare scenario of losing the support of the EU's two most significant countries. Until now Paris and Berlin have been in favour of Turkish membership. Mrs Merkel has always argued in favour of downgrading Turkish membership. The popularity of her stance has allowed Paris to become less friendly to Turkey after the French rejected the draft EU constitution in May. Unease at the prospect of Turkish EU membership was seen as part of the reason for the rejection.