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Cyprus welcomes EU Enlargement Commissioner's warning to Turkey
2006-03-29 12:43:39

Larnaca, Mar 29 - Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs George Iacovou has welcomed the statements made by Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, which are ''a warning that when the EU date with Turkey will take place, Turkey is expected to fulfill its obligations towards the EU.''

In his interview with Reuters on Tuesday, Mr. Rehn had said ''we may face a period of political tension in EU-Turkey relations'' over Cyprus.

Read the full interview here

He also said the European Commission ''is working to avoid a train crash at the end of the year'' and that ''the Finnish presidency will have to use all its diplomatic skills, inherited from the period of neutrality policy, to avoid this train crash.''

Mr. Rehn further said ''the sooner Turkey will open the ports and fully implement the protocol, the better, but we will have to present our assessment in the course of this year.''

Turkey has so far failed to implement the Ankara Agreement, extending its customs union agreement to all new EU states, including the Republic of Cyprus, which it does not recognise.

In his statements, Mr. Iacovou said that this is not the first time Rehn has indirectly warned Turkey that the promises it gave are promises towards all 25 EU states.

''It is not a bilateral issue between Turkey and Cyprus, which is how Turkey wants to present it. It is a European issue, it is promises that Turkey gave and are included in three documents, the EU position, the adjustment protocol and the EU's well known statement,'' he said.

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