Romania voices strong support for Turkey's EU bid

             By Zuhal Demirci</p>  <p>BUCHAREST, Romania (AA) - Romania, the European Union’s current term president, on Friday voiced strong support for Turkey's bid to join the bloc. </p>  <p>&quot;We will do our utmost to succeed and to give a very clear signal about the importance we are attaching to the negotiation process for Turkey's accession to the EU,” Teodor Melescanu, Romania’s foreign minister, told reporters when asked about Turkey's EU bid.</p>  <p>His remarks came at a press conference after Gymnich, an informal meeting of foreign ministers of EU member and candidate countries, in Bucharest on Friday.</p>  <p>Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu represented Ankara at the meeting.</p>  <p>Speaking alongside EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Melescanu said an EU-Turkey Association Council meeting in Brussels on May 15 will focus on the functioning of the Association Council between Turkey and the Union.</p>  <p>EU member countries' ties with China and developments in Macedonia, Venezuela, and Syria were other topics addressed at the gathering.</p>  <p>&quot;It is clear from all the data that the People's Republic of China remains the main economic partner of the European states,&quot; said Melescanu.</p>  <p>On the recent agreement between Greece and Macedonia to rename the latter, ending a nearly 30-year dispute, Melescanu said that he expects the renamed Republic of North Macedonia to be invited to join the EU when the deal is final.</p>  <p>EU candidate countries were also invited to the second part of the talks on Friday.

Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987 and accession talks began in 2005.

However, negotiations stalled in 2007 due to the objections of the Greek Cypriot administration on the divided island of Cyprus, as well as opposition from Germany and France.