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Greek PM calls on Turkey to sign Ankara Agreement
2005-03-17 13:52:28

by Nicos Bellos

Brussels, Mar 17 (CNA) -- Greece’s Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has called on Turkey to keep the promises it undertook and to sign the protocol expanding its customs union with the ten new EU member- states, including Cyprus.

Turkey’s European prospects was among the issues examined last night during a meeting in Brussels between Karamanlis and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Karamanlis told reporters after the meeting that Greece has always supported and continues to support Turkey’s European prospects, adding that just like all candidate member-states it should fulfil all criteria and the specific preconditions placed at every step.

“Within this framework, Turkey should sign on time the Ankara Agreement”, the Greek premier said.

The Ankara Agreement provides for the expansion of its customs union with all ten new EU member-states, including the Cyprus Republic.

Turkey is the only country in the world which does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus although it is one of the three guarantor powers of the island's independence. The other two are Greece and Britain.

Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

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