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Britain Urges EU Not to Abandon Turkey on Eve of Talks

European Union foreign ministers are meeting in emergency session Sunday to try to break a deadlock over membership talks with Turkey one day before those talks are scheduled to begin.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says he understands some nations' concerns, but abandoning the talks would be a "failure" for the EU.

Austria insists the talks with Ankara should include an alternative to giving Turkey full EU membership. Turkey opposes this.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that EU leaders must decide whether the trading bloc will become a global power, or remain what he called a "Christian club."

Negotiations for admitting mainly Muslim Turkey are expected to take up to 10 years. New members of the EU must be approved by all 25 member states.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.