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British PM: No special obstacles should be put in Turkey's European course
2004-12-02 09:43:27

by Kyriakos Tsioupras

London, Dec 2 (CNA) -- There should be no special obstacles put in Turkey's European way, but the criteria that have to be applied, should be applied to Turkey fairly and properly, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Monday.

Invited to say if the EU and in particular the United Kingdom have let Turkish Cypriots down after the referendum in Cyprus on the UN plan for a Cyprus settlement, Blair said ''I don't think we have let people down because we are trying to find a way through, because obviously if there is going to be a deal for the whole of Cyprus it has got to involve the Greek Cypriot side as well as the Turkish Cypriot side.''

''As you know, we actually wanted people to vote in favour of it, on the Greek side as well as the Turkish side, so we will carry on trying to find our way through that,'' Blair added.

He noted that ''Turkey's application to be a member of the European Union should be determined according to the same criteria and in the same way as any other application.''

''Turkey is not actually asking for favourable treatment, it is asking for the same treatment, and it should have the same treatment. So there should be no special obstacles put in its way, but the criteria that have to be applied should be applied to Turkey fairly and properly. That is my position on it,'' he concluded.

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