EU ministers adjourn meeting on Turkey
by Katerina Nikolaou
Luxembourg, Oct 3 (CNA) -- European Union Foreign Ministers have adjourned their meeting regarding the start of accession negotiations with Turkey scheduled for Monday, to allow time for consultations with a view at reaching agreement on Ankara's negotiating framework.
During Sunday's meeting, which lasted until the early hours of today, Austria raised objections, saying an alternative option for a special partnership with Turkey must be included in the text, should membership talks fail.
Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iacovou had a meeting here Sunday with his British counterpart Jack Straw with regard to the EU presidency's opening statement and reaction in the event of an ''unacceptable'' Turkish response.
In statements after the meeting he made clear that no changes can be made in Turkey's negotiating framework, as decided by the member states, apart from issues raised by Austria.
He said that the meeting with the British FM was scheduled days ago and focused on the ''general reservation'' regarding the opening statement of the Presidency as well as its reaction in the event of ''unacceptable, not helpful and explosive'' statements on Cyprus by Turkey.
Our reservations have a preventive character for issues that might appear the last minute, the FM said and added: ''we also want assurances on to how the Presidency will deal with statements by the Turkish FM'' which are unacceptable.
Responding to questions, he said ''everybody hopes that Turkey will not raise issues that have to do with Cyprus'', noting that the Presidency will react to these statements on behalf of the 25 member-states.
''If Turkey starts repeating its usual and well known positions (about non recognition of Cyprus) then the Presidency should reply, and if this answer is not an adequate one then the Foreign Minister of the Cyprus Republic will have to take the stand and address the matter'', he stressed.
Responding to a question on Turkey's negotiating framework with the EU, Iacovou made clear that the documents have been agreed on apart from those issues raised by Austria and it is not possible at this point to change the documents.
Asked if there have been efforts to make the negotiating framework more flexible for Turkey on the Cyprus issue, the FM said that this issue came up some days ago by some countries ''but no change can be made''.
He concluded that if things change then another meeting with Straw might take place.