23:07 GMT18 June 2021
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    Finland's foreign minister said Turkey shares "significant" mutual interests with the European Union.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Finland remains supportive of and committed to the negotiation process of Turkey's EU accession, the country's foreign minister, Timo Soini, said on Wednesday.

    "Both Turkey and EU would benefit from continuing accession negotiations. Finland considers Turkey's accession negotiations to the EU [to be] very important," Soini said in Ankara at the 9th Ambassadors' Conference, as quoted by the Daily Sabah newspaper.

    According to the Finnish minister, Turkey shares "significant" mutual interests with the European Union.

    Soini added that Helsinki maintained "open" dialogue with Ankara, and it looked forward to "further developing cooperation with Turkey and working together for stability, prosperity and well-being."

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu commented that Finland had been the strongest supporter of Turkey's EU membership bid.

    Turkey became the candidate for EU membership in 2005, but the talks on the accession were repeatedly suspended. In March, Turkey's candidature received a boost as it signed an agreement with the European Union on taking back migrants who arrived illegally in Greece in exchange for financial aid and concessions on visas.

    On November 24, European lawmakers voted in favor of freezing EU accession talks with Turkey until it lifts restrictive measures in the country in place since the July failed coup. The following day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to open the country's borders for refugees to cross into Europe.

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    European Union, Timo Soini, Turkey, Finland
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