Vatican City, Nov 28, 2006 / 22:00 pm
In response to comments by Turkey’s Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, on the possibility of Turkish entry into the EU, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the Holy See “has neither the power, nor the specific or political role of intervening in the question of Turkey’s entry into the European Union.”
During a press conference after his 20-minute meeting with the Holy Father at the Ankara airport, Erdogan said he asked Benedict XVI for his support for Turkish entry into the EU and said the Pope told him, “We are not politicians but we desire to see Turkey in Europe.”
“This is outside the competence of the Holy See,” Father Lombardi stated, adding that nevertheless, “the Vatican looks positively on and encourages the path dialogue and of rapprochement in Europe on the basis of common values and principles.”
The Vatican spokesman also said that during the meeting, Pope Benedict expressed his “appreciation” for the Alliance of Civilizations initiative proposed by Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and co-sponsored by Prime Minister Erdogan.