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Turkey has to adapt the Ankara Agreement, says Spokesman
2004-12-15 13:54:55

Nicosia, Dec 15 (CNA) -- Turkey, that aspires to join the European Union, has an obligation to adapt the Ankara Agreement to take into account the accession of the ten new member states, including Cyprus, Cypriot Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides has said.

In statements after a Council of Ministers meeting, Chrysostomides said the government is pleased to see that the Commission has called on Turkey to do that, a move EU circles suggest that is tantamount to recognition of Cyprus by Turkey.

The Agreement relates to Turkey's customs union with the EU.

The Spokesman said that various drafts, prepared by the six-monthly rotating EU presidency currently held by The Netherlands, urge Ankara to extend the Agreement to include Cyprus.

Responding to questions, he said the government is doing everything possible to achieve the best possible outcome at the European Council, taking place in Brussels on December 16 and 17, which will decide whether the EU will begin accession negotiations with Ankara.

Cyprus is seeking to secure recognition from Turkey and have Ankara afford Nicosia the same treatment it affords to other EU member states. The Dutch presidency is trying to reconcile the various views on the matter to achieve a consensus for the Council final conclusions.

''This matter is a matter of discussion among EU partners and the exchange of views among them and the presidency continues. This is an issue that interests other EU members as well,'' the Spokesman said.

Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos leaves Thursday for Brussels to participate in the summit. He has said he does not oppose the start of accession negotiations with Turkey provided it fulfills its obligations to the EU and to Cyprus as well.

He will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs George Iacovou, the Spokesman and the Director of his Diplomatic Office Tasos Tzionis.

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