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Greek FM calls on Turkey to abide by terms of Αnkara Agreement
2006-09-28 09:42:09

Washington, Sep 28 -- Turkey must honour its signature on the Additional Protocol of the Ankara Agreement, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni said after a meeting at the State Department with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday.

She also noted that it is extremely important for Ankara to open its ports and airports to Cypriot vessels and planes, as stipulated in the said Agreement.

Talks between Mrs. Bakoyanni and Mrs. Rice focused mainly on the Cyprus problem, the situation in the Balkans, Kosovo and the Middle East issue.

The problem of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as well as the issue of visas to Greek citizens traveling to the US were also examined.

In her remarks about Cyprus, Mrs. Bakoyianni said that ?an effort is underway for talks to begin and from then on we will expect the result?.

She also said that she had the opportunity to ?reiterate our position that Turkey must abide by its signature on the Ankara protocol and it is extremely important to open the Turkish ports and airports to Cypriot products?. Turkey, an EU candidate country, refuses to implement a Protocol extending the Ankara Agreement (Customs Union) to the ten new EU member states, which among others provides for the opening of Turkish ports and airports to Cypriot ships and airplanes.

Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed on July 8th 2006, under UN auspices, to begin a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and concurrently those that concern substantive issues, both contributing to a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.

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