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EU Delays Report on Turkish Membership Bid

The European Union says it will publish its eagerly awaited report on Turkey's bid to join the 25-nation bloc November 8, two weeks later than had been expected.

EU Commission spokeswoman Kristztina Nagy Tuesday cited changes in the European Commission's schedule for the delay.

The announcement in Brussels came as Turkish lawmakers returned from summer recess Tuesday, nearly two weeks before the traditional October 1 opening of the National Assembly.

The lawmakers are to consider a slate of reforms aimed at boosting the country's bid to join the EU. Changes include strengthening the rights of minorities and stepping up the fight against corruption.

EU officials say the report, prepared by the commissioner in charge of EU expansion, will also address the progress of membership negotiations with Croatia and update the EU's strategy for bringing in other potential candidates in the Balkans.

A separate report on whether Bulgaria and Romania are ready for EU membership is to be presented on September 26. Those two countries are due to join the bloc on January 1.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.