Heads of State and Government of 12 countries of Southeastern Europe gathered in Istanbul on Wednesday reaffirmed its intention to end the centuries-old rivalries and become "the young and dynamic European Union", which hopes to join.
"The Balkans are an integral part of Europe historically, geographically and culturally. We are committed to crown this partnership based on shared values through EU membership," said Turkey's President Abdullah Gul. "From now on, we should avoid the Balkans to be considered a place of violence, foreign and incomprehensible. Must show that we are the young, dynamic and energetic Europe," the Turkish leader said participants at the meeting of the Cooperation Process Southeast Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP). Ten presidents and two prime ministers, including the Premier Greek Georgios Papandreou, participating in the SEECP summit, which will end with the "Istanbul Declaration", emphasizing "common future of the Balkans belong to the European family". SEECP four countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Slovenia) are already EU members and accession negotiations with Croatia and Turkey take place. France and Germany oppose Turkey's EU accession, preferring the conclusion of a privileged partnership with Ankara. Other SEECP members are Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia.
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