Herman van Rompuy and Fredrik Reinfeldt in Stockholm. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/Scanpix

van Rompuy prepared to go to Turkey

On a visit to Stockholm on Tuesday, the president of the European Council Herman van Rompuy said he has got nothing against travelling to Turkey. "If I receive an invitation from the Turkish government, I will surely go to Turkey," he told reporters at a press conference at the Prime Minister's Offices.

Last week, the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt criticised van Rompuy, for failing to include Turkey when he talks about future EU members. He also said it was strange that the EU president had still not met with any of the current leaders of Turkey, nor has he visited the country, which is currently negotiating with the European Union to become a member.

Before being elected president of the council van Rompuy was opposed to Turkish membership but at his appointment he was very clear that he would now represent the policies of the European Union.

"If the Turkish Prime Minister wants to see me in Bruxelles, he will be my guest," van Rompuy said.

The Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt had raised the issue with van Rompuy in their talks on Tuesday. Reinfeldt told Swedish Radio News that he was satisfied with the answers he got. Asked if van Rompuy himself should not invite Turkey, Reinfeldt said that he does not want to steer how van Rompuy does his job, but that he welcomes the expressed interest in going to Turkey should he be invited.

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