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EU Leaders Reaffirm Enlargement Pledges

17 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- In draft conclusions to their two-day summit in Brussels, European Union leaders have pledged to honor their commitments to countries in line to join the bloc.

Their text does not mention Turkey by name, but says the EU plans to implement its decisions from December, when the bloc set 3 October as a date to conditionally begin membership talks with Turkey.

The EU leaders, who conclude their summit today, also welcomed the importance of the bloc's April accession treaty with Bulgaria and Romania, calling it a key step toward making them EU members.

Doubts have been cast on future EU enlargement after the recent defeat of the EU constitution in referenda in France and Holland.

On 16 June, EU leaders agreed to extend the ratification of the document beyond the previously set date of November 2006.