Britain: We expect Turkey to sign protocol soon
by Kyriacos Tsioupras
London, Jun 26 (CNA) -- British Minister for Europe Douglas Alexander has said that Turkey would be able to start on October 3rd, accession negotiations with the European Union, provided it meets the conditions set by the European Councils and signs the Protocol extending the EU - Turkey Customs Union with the ten new member states, including Cyprus.
''The EU agreed at the European Council in December 2004 to open accession negotiations with Turkey on 3 October 2005 provided that Turkey brought into force six pieces of outstanding legislation and signed the Protocol extending the Ankara Agreement to the 10 new member states'', Alexander said.
British Minister was replying to questions by Parliamentarians Jeremy Wright and Ben Chapman on what assessment he has made of the effect of the Netherlands and France voting against the EU Constitution on the prospect for the accession of Turkey to the EU.
''All six pieces of legislation are now in force, and we expect the Protocol to be signed soon. The European Council on Friday unanimously adopted conclusions which ''referred to its conclusions of December 2004 on enlargement and highlighted the need to implement them fully'', he concluded.