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Cyprus President says Turkey's EU course should continue under strict conditions
2006-06-15 11:11:14

Larnaca, Jun 15 - Turkey's EU course should continue under the strict precondition that Ankara will implement the obligations the EU has set, Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said today.

''Our policy and our aim is that Turkey's EU course should continue under the strict precondition that Ankara will implement its prerequisites and obligations the EU has set", he added in reply to questions prior to his departure for Brussels to participate in the European Council.

He also pointed out that the EU Commission will issue its assessment on Turkey's EU bid in October, reminding that the EU Foreign Ministers' common position adopted in Luxembourg early this week was that ''failure to implement its obligations in full will affect the overall progress in the negotiations.''

Asked if Nicosia should have vetoed the opening of the first chapter, the President said that ''we requested that, despite the content of each chapter, the political criteria are substantial and we have succeeded'' and wondered: ''should we exercise our right to veto when the preconditions we had were fulfilled?''

Invited to comment on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement that Ankara will not open its ports to ships flying the Cyprus flag, Mr. Papadopoulos said Mr. Erdogan has repeatedly said this.

''Would you expect (Mr. Erdogan) to tell Europe that we will comply tomorrow?,'' he wondered.

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