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Friday, June 4, 1999 Published at 19:22 GMT 20:22 UK

World: Europe

EU opposes German proposal on Turkey

Germany has failed in a bid to bring Turkey closer to realising its ambition of joining the European Union.

EU leaders at their summit in Cologne voted down a proposal that would have placed Turkey on the same footing as the other ten countries seeking membership.

The Italian prime minister, Massimo d'Alema, said there was a need to bring Turkey closer to Europe, but that Ankara must realise its duty to observe human rights and find a peaceful end to the conflict with the Kurds.

He also urged Turkey not to impose the death penalty on the Kurdish separatist leader, Abdullah Ocalan, who is on trial for treason as this would send the wrong signal.

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