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Turkey breakthrough a 'historic day for Europe'

Turkey breakthrough hailed as 'historic day for Europe'

Jack Straw says an agreement has been reached so that negotiations on Turkey's accession to the European Union can begin 'in the very near future'.

The breakthrough, which followed lengthy talks at the EU Foreign Ministers' Council in Luxembourg, represents the culmination of a 40-year process.

Speaking after the meeting, the Foreign Secretary said:

"This is a truly historic day for Europe and for the whole of the international community.

"It's now more than forty years since the prospect of membership of the European Union was first held out to Turkey.

"Given the time that it's taken it's perhaps no surprise that these negotiations to begin formally the negotiations should have taken more than twenty four hours to finalise."

Tony Blair hailed the success of the talks, while adding that it would be 'unnatural' for some people not to have concerns about the 'big change' the EU faced with Turkey's proposed accession.

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