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EU advises Turkey to sign customs union protocol
2004-11-24 12:59:38

The Hague, Nov 24 (CNA) – The Dutch presidency of the European Union conveyed today to Turkey the positions and wishes of the government of the Republic of Cyprus, in view of the European Council on 17 December which will decide whether to start accession negotiations with Turkey.

Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Bot answering a question by CNA during a press conference with Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn and Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Gul, following a meeting with Gul, said “we have submitted to our Turkish friends the fact that it would be desirable to sign'' the protocol on which its customs union agreement with the EU will be valid with all member states, including the Republic of Cyprus.

“We have discussed it and submitted it to their attention”, Bot said, noting that “we pointed out the fact that Turkey will be negotiating with the 25 member states and that we hope that the situation can be settled before we open negotiations”.

The Dutch minister underlined that “the issue of the (Turkish) troops has not been raised”, explaining that “what matters is that we, as the 25, agree on the terms for opening negotiations and the Presidency is preparing the field, it is in contact with all the 25 countries, and we have conveyed the wishes also of Cyprus to the Turkish Minister.”

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