Dutch minister signals support for Turkey’s EU bid

Ankara, Feb 15: The Netherlands will welcome the European Union (EU) membership of Turkey if its accession negotiations end in a positive way, visiting Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said here Friday.

“Once the negotiations finish, Netherlands will be one who gladly welcomes Turkey among the EU member states,” Xinhua quoted Timmermans as saying at a joint press conference in Ankara with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Timmermans paid a visit to the Turkish capital to participate in the sixth meeting of Turkey-Holland Bilateral (Wittenburg) Conference.

The Dutch foreign minister said he personally supports the opening of the chapters of 23 and 24 in the accession talks between Turkey and the EU, but noting that he would discuss it with his government and parliament.

Opening negotiations on these chapters engage Turkey in debate “on issues having to do with rule of law”, Timmermans said, adding that “I believe it will be good (for Turkey) to engage in these subjects.”