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COREPER takes decisions on Croatia and Turkey EU courses
2006-06-29 11:26:03

Brussels, Jun 29- The European Union has begun the procedure for the opening of the chapter ?Customs Union? with Croatia but has not done so with Turkey, due to the pending issue of the customs union with Cyprus, that is the opening of Turkish ports and airports to Cypriot vessels and aircraft.

EU 25 Permanent Representatives? Committee (COREPER) decided yesterday to send a letter to Croatia, outlining the preconditions Zagreb must fulfill in order to begin negotiations on the ?Customs Union? chapter.

This has not happened in the case of Turkey for the time being, as Ankara has yet to implement a protocol extending its customs union with Cyprus.

''It is obvious that there is an understanding among the 25 partners regarding Turkey's negative stance to respond with particular steps for the implementation of the obligations, which it intentionally assumed and signed,'' Mr. Lillikas said adding that he believes that this understanding will apply during the discussions to take place when the Commission will issue its progress report on Turkey.

The Cypriot FM also reiterated that Cyprus seeks to convince Turkey to use the time until October to implement its commitments, adding ''we deem as more important for Turkey to proceed with its accession course, implementing its commitments towards the Republic of Cyprus and not to take any measures against this country.''

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