EU summit draft on Turkey circulated among members
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Dec 7 (CNA) -- The wording of a second draft for next week's European Union summit, with regard to Turkey's bid to secure a date for the start of accession negotiations, has changed and now notes that Turkey has to take into account the accession of ''the ten new member states''.
The first draft did not include a reference to the number of the new members, including Cyprus, that joined the EU in May this year.
''The European Council welcomed Turkey's [ decision] to sign the protocol regarding the adaptation of the Ankara Agreement, taking account of the accession of the ten new member states,'' the second draft says.
Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus' northern areas, does not recognise the Republic and has still to extend its customs union agreement with the EU to cover Cyprus as well, which demands that Ankara recognises the Cyprus Republic.
The draft welcomes ''the decisive progress made by Turkey in its far-reaching reform process and reiterated its determination to enable Turkey to join the European community of values, confident that Turkey will sustain the process of reform to that end''.
It also welcomes ''Turkey's commitment to good neighbourly relations and its readiness to continue to work with Member States towards resolution of remaining border disputes, in conformity with the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the United Nations Charter''.
The draft indicates that membership talks with Turkey cannot be concluded before 2014 and refers to the possible suspension of the talks in the case of serious violations of human rights, of principles of freedom and democracy as well as the rule of law.
Talks can be suspended following a proposal by the Commission or a request by the member states. Terms for the possible resumption of the talks will also be laid down in the proposal.
The Council, it adds, will decide by special majority on such a proposal and having heard the views of the candidate country on whether talks should be suspended and the terms for their resumption.