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Signing of EU protocol a precondition for Turkey, says French Minister
2005-01-18 12:51:07

Nicosia, Jan 17 (CNA) – The signing by Turkey of a protocol to extend its customs union with the European Union to include the ten new members is a precondition for Ankara, if it wants to start accession negotiations, French Minister for European Affairs Claudie Haignere has told House President Demetris Christofias, according to reliable sources.

The same sources have described as “very creative” the talks which the French Minister and Christofias had at the House of Representatives today, during which Christofias informed Haignere that the Greek Cypriot side is ready to engage in a procedure which will lead to a solution to the Cyprus problem.

At the meeting, Haignere asked to be informed about relations between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots as well as the procedures in Cyprus to ratify the Convention for the European Constitution.

She said France will hold a referendum at the end of May or early June on the Constitution with a view to ratify it.

Christofias told the French Minister that the discussion and ratification of the Constitution will be completed at the Cyprus House of Representatives by the end of March.

The House President explained to Haignere why the Greek Cypriot side rejected a UN-proposed solution plan (the Annan Plan) at the April referendum and stressed that the Greek Cypriot side is ready to become engaged in a procedure that would lead to an agreed solution to the Cyprus problem.

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