EU and Turkey meet Tuesday after U.S. backing of membership bid .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} BRUSSELS - European and Turkish officials will meet in Prague Tuesday, two weeks after U.S. President Barack Obama backed the mainly Muslim nation's bid to join the bloc, an issue that divides Europeans.

Turkey is an official EU candidate nations but its accession process has been slowed down both by its long-running row with Cyprus and amid misgivings about allowing such a large Muslim country to join the club.

"The meeting will address issues of the EU-Turkey relations and the progress in Turkey’s accession talks with the EU," along with energy security and regional and international concerns, notably the Middle East peace process, the Czech EU presidency said in a statement

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, his Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt, whose country takes over the EU’s rotating presidency in July, and EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn will meet with Turkeys Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and its top negotiator Egeman Bagis.

"We will once again display our policy which is to continue the (membership negotiations) with the same determination," Bagis told Television 24 on Sunday.

"Turkey has carried out major democratic reforms and will continue to do so in the coming months. We are not going to stop," added Bagis who will travel on from Prague to France and Sweden.

France is one of the main opponents of Turkey joining the EU, while Sweden is one of its biggest supporters.

However, according to a European source, the trip to Prague will not be the occasion for a major discussion on Turkey’s membership bid.

The EU presidency is expected to confirm its wish to open two more of the 35 policy chapters which all candidate nations must successfully negotiate prior to membership -- those of social policy and taxation.

However, in order to do so Turkey will have to fulfill certain conditions, in particular the adoption of a new law on union rights, the European source said.

Since it began its formal EU membership talks in October 2005 Turkey has so far only opened 10 of the 35 chapters. Eight chapters in the negotiations have been frozen since 2006 due to Turkey's refusal to open its ports to Greek Cypriot vessels before the EU eases its isolation on the Turkish community on Cyprus island.

Five more, directly linked to membership, are being blocked by France.

Obama voiced strong support for Turkey’s EU bid during his first official trip to Europe earlier this month, prompting French President Nicolas Sarkozy to shoot back that it was up to the EU to decide.