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German FM calls on Turkey to ratify union agreement with all EU countries - including Cyprus
2006-06-01 11:25:03

Nicosia, May 31 - German Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed the hope that Turkey will ratify the Ankara Agreement, extending its customs union agreement to all EU member states, including Cyprus, by the end of the year.

He was speaking during a meeting in Berlin on Wednesday with his Cypriot counterpart George Iacovou who is on a two-day visit to Germany.

The two ministers examined issues of European interest such as the future of Europe and the Constitutional Convention in the light of the discussions held on 27 and 28 May at the Informal EU Foreign Ministers' meeting in Vienna, an official statement said.

They also discussed the situation in western Balkans and prospects of incorporating these countries in European structures, the future of Kosovo and the situation created after the recent referendum in Montenegro.

Both ministers agreed on the need to implement the conclusions of the Salonica European Council for the future of the region.

The two also examined extensively the Cyprus issue in connection with Turkey's accession course and its obligations towards the EU and 25 EU states. Iacovou made a detailed and in depth analysis of the parameters that constitute Turkey's accession course as well as its obligations.

The German Minister expressed understanding over the positions of the Cypriot side and the hope that Turkey will ratify the additional protocol on the Ankara Agreement (Customs Union) before the end of the year, and generally to implement the obligations it has undertaken towards the EU.

During his visit, Iacovou also met Dr. Wolfgang Thierse, Vice President of the Bundestag, and the President and members of the Cyprus-Germany friendship committee, and exchanged views on the latest developments in Cyprus and EU issues.

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