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EU approves Turkey's customs union additional protocol
2005-06-13 13:50:38

Nicosia, Jun 13 (CNA) -- The European Union approved an agreement on Monday adapting its customs union with Turkey to the 10 new EU member states, including Cyprus, bringing accession talks with Ankara a big step closer, a diplomat said, according to Reuters.

EU foreign ministers meeting today in Luxembourg endorsed the protocol without discussion, sending it to Turkey for signature. Ankara's top EU negotiator Ali Babacan, has said Turkey will sign it as soon as it receives the document.

Once it has signed, Ankara will have met all the conditions set by the EU for opening membership talks on October 3. However, according to Reuters diplomats said the bloc must still approve a negotiating mandate for the executive European Commission, which could lead to morewrangling over Turkey's refusal to recognise Cyprus.

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