I would like to thank Ms. Oomen-Ruijten for her good work! The draft touches upon all issues between the EU and Turkey. And it is mandatory to do so because of the growing importance of our neighbour in many spheres: from trade to energy to security. I am sure everyone here agrees that we need a reformed European Turkey, reconciled with its neighbours and overcoming its internal divisions!
The strategic position of Turkey and its growing role in the Muslim world makes it indispensible to work closely with it towards democracy, transparency, respect for human rights and friendly relations with neighbours. I look at Turkey as a friend and Trans-Atlantic ally and this is exactly why I think we should work together in areas of mutual concern with mutual trust. I would not like to see escalating issues in the future, just because we have refrained of friendly and constructive remarks in the past.
To this end, I would like to mention that EU should work in close cooperation with Turkey to enhance political dialogue with its neighbours. First and foremost this means constructive role in solving the Cyprus issue as well as ratification of the protocols with Armenia, signed in 2009. I as well as other members of this house have repeatedly said that ratification should be done without any preconditions as agreed between the parties. I hope the recently proposed demolition of the Turkey-Armenia friendship Monument in Kars by Mr. Erdogan will not hinder this process.
On another point, implementation of existing international treaties is important part of the mutual trust-building between Turkey and its neighbours is the, no matter how far in the past they were signed. Here I should specifically mention the Angora Treaty and the agreed compensation for Bulgarian citizens that Turkey is still due to live up to.
As you know a EU-Turkey readmission agreement shall soon be signed. I expect that it meets the established international and European standards on the readmission of citizens of third countries. Its provisions shall be not less favourable than those in the existing bilateral.
Last but not least, I want to welcome the will of Turkey to sign the Nabucco Project Support Agreement. The mutual interest of both the EU and Turkey obliges us to work for the realisation of Nabucco openly and swiftly with no hand twisting and no strings attached for any of the parties
I am also a member of the Security and Defence sub-committee and I should say that we must work the same way in the field of security.
I hope to soon make a step forward to bring to use the Berlin Plus agreement for better cooperation between EU and NATO.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In this house we are often talking about the Reconciliation of European History and of our political differences from the past. The true reconciliation includes not only this, but also inter-ethnic strife and past imperial ambitions. Turkey should be part of the Reconciliation of European History on its way to Europeanization and reform.