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Commission President: Turkish signals on Cyprus not positive
2006-10-11 13:22:07

Nicosia, Oct 11 -- European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has expressed scepticism about Turkey's readiness to meet EU demands to open its ports and airports to traffic from EU member Cyprus.

Speaking in Germany on Wednesday, and asked about the Cyprus issue, he said ''the signals that we are getting don't give us much hope. They are not positive.''

''But the talks continue,'' he added.

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

Turkey, a country aspiring to become an EU member state, does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus and refuses to implement the EU-Turkey Customs Union Protocol, by opening its ports and airports to Cyprus.

Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has said that Cyprus extended its support to Turkey's EU accession course in the genuine hope that it would show its European colors and credentials.

But he pointed out that regrettably Turkey has maintained a policy of confrontation by refusing to meet its obligations undertaken towards the EU, including Cyprus.

The President also said that the suspension of Turkey's European prospects would undoubtedly be an adverse development but noted that however adverse and undesirable this possibility, of greater consequence and with far-reaching implications would be if Turkey would be given the message that it can continue its accession process unhindered, without meeting its obligations.

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