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Hungary supports Turkey's EU membership

Turkey would bring new dynamism for all of Europe, says Hungarian minister of foreign affairs and trade.

Budapest will continue to be supportive of Turkey's integration with the European Union, theHungary’s minister of foreign affairs and trade said on Friday.

Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987. Accession talks began in 2005.

However, negotiations hit a stalemate in 2007, due to issues pertaining to the island of Cyprus and the reluctancy of German and French governments at the time.

"Turkey could give a new dynamism and new impetus for all of Europe," said the Hungarian minister Peter Szijjarto to The Anadolu Agency in Ankara.

Because the EU is currently struggling with changes in the world economy and politics, Szijjarto said, "We have attached a great significance to the cooperation of the EU with Turkey."

"Turkey is very significant because the country is boasting fantastic economic achievements. This country would like to be among the top 10 economies in the world in the foreseeable future," said Szijjarto, adding the EU could reap the benefits of cooperation with Ankara.

- Energy security in Europe

"One of the top challenges of Europe now is the energy security issue," said Szijjarto. "We have to decrease our level of dependence on external energy resources."

Central Europe is in a critical situation, Szijjarto said as 85 percent of gas used in Hungary comes from Russia.

"The other central European countries are in similar situation," he added.

Szijjarto said Hungary was supporting the South Stream Pipeline, which is the largest infrastructure project in Europe.

The planned South Stream pipeline, with an estimated capacity of 60 billion cubic meters, is expected to transport Russian natural gas through the Black Sea to Bulgaria and through Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia and on to Austria.

However, the European Commission opposes the project, citing a breach of EU anti-trust law.