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Exasperated Turkey slammed its fist on the table this weekend saying Europe is dragging its feet on EU entry talks, while the 27-nation bloc sought to boost ties with a nation whose worldwide weight is on the rise.
After sitting down for talks on Saturday with the 27-nation bloc's foreign affairs chiefs, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said: "I expressed our dissatisfaction with the speed of the negotiations, I expressed it clearly."
Since the kickoff of entry talks in 2005, movement has been sluggish, due to the deadlock over Cyprus, the slow pace of reforms in Turkey and, more fundamentally, because France and Germany are wary of seeing the Muslim-majority nation of 75 million join the bloc.
But Ankara can bank on the support of other EU states in its bid to join.
Britain, which in July publicly expressed its opposition to France and Germany on the question, this weekend reiterated its willingness to see progress on the entry talks.
"It would be good to see those talks speed up," said Foreign Secretary William Hague, as with Turkey inside the EU "there is a very powerful combination to have."
"It's very important to show some momentum on this and the UK will be trying to make sure that that happens before the end of the year," he said.
Sweden's Carl Bildt took an even stronger tack.