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WikiLeaks: No backing for Ankara's EU bid?

WikiLeaks: No backing for Ankara's EU bid?
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) arrives with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Presidential palace in Tehran, Iran on October 27,2009. UPI | License Photo

ANKARA, Turkey, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- There might not be a whole lot of interest in having Turkey join the European Union as a full member, documents released by WikiLeaks reveal.

Internet watchdog group WikiLeaks released thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables to major newspapers this week. Though the spotlight was on Iranian developments, the latest WikiLeaks dump also highlighted backroom developments on Turkey's efforts to join the EU.

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Phillip Gordon, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasian affairs, noted during meetings with French officials in 2009 that Paris favored a less-than full membership for Ankara, the EU Observer reported.

French officials, the documents reveal, said there was some speculation that Ankara would eventually give up on full membership.

Turkish officials, for their part, said that in terms of security agreements with EU member states, Ankara was expecting better treatment because of "accumulated rights" as a candidate for accession, the EU Observer added.

The EU in early November issued a report on the accession process for Turkey, which became a formal candidate to join the EU in 1999.

Stefan Fule, the European commissioner for enlargement and neighborhood policy, said Ankara was making slow but steady progress with its accession efforts but the "process is losing its momentum."

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