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Cypriot FM pleased with protocol approval
2005-06-13 16:45:07

by Nicos Bellos

Brussels, Jun 13 (CNA) – Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iacovou expressed satisfaction today for the approval by his European Union counterparts of a protocol to Turkey’s customs union agreement with the Union, which would adapt the Ankara Agreement extending it to all ten new members, including Cyprus.

The protocol will now be signed by the EU Council of Ministers and the Turkish government, something which, Iacovou has said, is expected to take place next week and in any case before 30th June when the EU Luxembourg presidency ends.

Once it is signed, it will be ratified and then put into force the first day of the first month which will follow its tabling at the general secretariat of the EU Council of Ministers. Its implementation will be backdated, from 1 May 2004, day when the ten new member states entered the EU.

Referring to the draft conclusions of this week’s European Council 16-17 June, which were discussed at the General Affairs Council today, Iacovou said he was satisfied because everything progressed smoothly.

Asked about the absence of any mention of enlargement and Turkey in the conclusions, the Minister explained that this was the wish of most member states.

On the issue of contributions to the Community for the period 2007-2013, Iacovou said there are disagreements on rebates to Britain and it is difficult to predict the outcome of this week's summit on the matter.

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