Bush Endorses Turkey's Bid to Join EU, Calls it a 'Constructive Bridge' Between West and Islam

January 8, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The International Herald Tribune

Wire Service: AP


President Bush gave Turkey's bid to join the European Union a glowing endorsement on Tuesday and called the Islamic nation a "constructive bridge" between the West and the Muslim world, offering a much-needed boost to U.S.-Turkish relations.

"I think Turkey sets a fantastic example for nations around the world to see where it's possible to have a democracy coexist with a great religion like Islam and that's important," he said.

Bush spoke to reporters following a meeting with Turkish President Abdullah Gul. The two appeared together on the South Lawn, where Bush said he supported Turkey's efforts to fight the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK rebels, in northern Iraq.

Bush called the PKK an enemy to Turkey, Iraq and "to people who want to live in peace."