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Greece expects Turkey to sign Customs Union protocol the soonest possible
2005-03-21 12:20:52

by Christa Nicolaou

Athens, Mar 19 (CNA)-- Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said that Greece expects Turkey to sign the soonest possible the protocol expanding its Customs Union with the EU, to cover all European Union member-states, including the Republic of Cyprus.

Speaking today before his party's Central Committee, Karamanlis also referred to the Cyprus problem, noting that ''the Greeks want more than anyone else a functional and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.''

''We expect Turkey to respond the soonest possible to the obligations it assumed regarding the Customs Union protocol,'' Karamanlis said, adding that the Greek government firmly seeks the improvement of Greco-Turkish relations, looking forward to the promotion of bilateral cooperation.

Karamanlis also expressed hope that he will have a creative discussion with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayiip Erdogan, with whome he will have dinner on Monday in Brussels.

Reiterating Greece's support to Turkey's EU bid, Karamanlis noted this Turkey's EU course primarily depends on Turkey's response to the European fundamental criteria and the preconditions set out for Turkey's next steps.

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