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Greek Premier urges Turkey to uphold promises undertaken at EU Council
2005-03-09 13:37:01

by Christa Nicolaou

Athens, Mar 9 (CNA) -- Turkey must uphold the commitments it undertook at the European Council of 17 December 2004, Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has said, stressing that the EU is not willing to alter the stance it so festively had undertaken.

Karamanlis made the statement during a dinner given here yesterday in his honour by the Union of Foreign Correspondents where he made an evaluation of the first year in power of his party New Democracy.

Asked what should be the position of the EU, Greece and the Greek Cypriot side to the objections posed by Turkey to sign the protocol expanding its customs union agreement with the ten new EU member- states including Cyprus, Karamanlis replied that “on 17th December, Turkey undertook a series of commitments which were especially hard for a candidate state, one of them being to sign the Customs Union protocol”.

“The messages from the EU are firm, continued and lasting. We are sure that the issues agreed should be kept”, the Greek Premier said, adding that the EU is not willing to alter a stance, which it so festively undertook in the most formal manner. Karamanlis further said “Turkey ought to keep its promises”.

The Premier said Greece took a bold decision to support Turkey’s European course, adding that this does not mean the end of the road.

“There is still a way to go and a lot of effort will be required in the future” on the part of Turkey, he said, and expressed the conviction that Turkey’s European prospects will gradually make its attitude more compatible against international law and European standards.

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