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Turkey should meet its Cyprus-related commitments, says EU Enlargement Commissioner
2006-03-09 12:44:54

Athens, Mar 9 -- EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn has called on Turkey to keep its word by implementing the Ankara Agreement and its obligations towards Cyprus.

Speaking in Athens after meeting Greek Foreign Minister Mrs. Dora Bakoyianni, Mr. Rehn said “we have kept our word and opened up accession negotiations. Now we expect Turkey to keep its word by implementing the Protocol”.

He noted that Ankara had signed the protocol which foresees the free circulation of goods but its continued refusal to implement it could affect the country's accession procedures.

''At the end of this year we will have to monitor the progress of Turkey as regards its reforms and Cyprus. The best way to avoid a period of negative consequences is by Turkey keeping its word,'' he added.

Turkey, he added, needs to meet its commitments related to the Republic of Cyprus. ''It must rigorously meet the conditions to the letter”, the Enlargement Commissioner underlined.

On her part, Mrs. Bakoyianni said during her discussion with Rehn she reminded “Greece’s constructive stance both during December 2004 and last October as regards” Turkey’s European course.

“At the same time I pointed out that Turkey’s accession course depends primarily on her”, ie from the degree of her response to criteria and obligations that were agreed by all member states, Mrs. Bakoyianni noted.

These, she said, include the implementation by Turkey of the protocol to extend its customs union to all ten new member states, adding that in this framework, the report which the commission will submit in Autumn will have special significance.

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