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Turkish PM: Joining SCO, led by Russia and China, not alternative to EU

November 25, 2016, 8:46 UTC+3 ANKARA

The premier says Turkey is not choosing between joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and becoming a full-fledged member of the European Union

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© AP Photo/Murad Sezer

ANKARA, November 25. /TASS/. Turkey is not choosing between joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), an economic and security alliance led by Russia and China, and becoming a full-fledged member of the European Union, the country’s prime minister Binali Yildirim told the TRT channel.

Commening on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent statement that the country was considering joining the SCO because of a serious crisis in its ties with Europe, Yildirim said that "this possibility should not be treated as an alternative to the EU."

"Europe is in stagnation now, so Turkey’s decision to boost ties with East is obvious," the prime minister said. "And this is not a threat. We need to develop economic and political aspects of relations. And we do not choose between the EU and the SCO."

Speaking about the European parliament’s resolution to put Turkey’s association with EU on hold, the official said that the decision to freeze ties will be more harmful for Europe than for Turkey.

"They need to understand that without Turkey, migrants will flow into Europe," Yildirim said.

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