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News 8

Turkey: the key to Europe’s future

(eTN) - The EU is Turkey's number one trade partner, with Turkish exports and imports between 46 to 39 percent. Foreign direct investment inflows to Turkey amounted to €10 Billion in 2008, while Turkish direct investments in more than 50 countries amounted to €1.7 billion, said Turkish Chief Negotiator and Minister for European Union Affairs, Egeman Bagis, in Munich last month.

Turkey is the key to Europe's future. Turkey has a unique strategic position in its region for geographical, cultural, and historical reasons. It is the most Eastern part of the West and the most Western part of the East.

Minister Bagis also sees Turkey as an active player and mediator in critical areas such as the Middle East, South Caucasus, Central Asia, the Black Sea basin, the Mediteranean, and the Balkans. When asked if Turkey will be admitted to the EU, Allison Smale of the International Herald Tribune, said: "My job is to close the gap. Turkey is the only country to apply for a Schengen visa. That Turkey will join the EU is a 60 percent issue."

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