COREPER decides on signature of protocol procedure by Turkey
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Jul 26 (CNA) -- EU member states Permanent Representatives agreed Monday by consensus on the procedure to be followed with regard to the signature by Turkey of the protocol extending its customs union to the ten new EU member states, including the Republic of Cyprus.
The EU British Presidency convened yesterday's COREPER meeting with a view to determine this procedure.
Diplomatic sources said the EU 25 agreed on the principle that any effort by Turkey to annul the substance of the protocol will not be accepted and will not be unanswered.
British Permanent Representative John Grant has suggested that British Prime Minister and current EU President Tony Blair will urge Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayiip Erdogan during their meeting on Wednesday not to try to make a statement to annul the protocol.
The protocol will be signed on the part of Turkey by its Permanent Representative in Brussels Oguz Demiralp, who will communicate the text to the British Presidency.
Any attempt by Turkey to make a statement altering the contents of the protocol would lead to further consultations with the Commission's legal services and to an extraordinary COREPER meeting on August 17-18.