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Cyprus Government: EU consultations are cancelled due to Turkish stance
2006-11-02 10:20:06

Nicosia, Nov 2 - The Finnish Presidency's decision to call-off consultations in Finland with all parties concerned in a bid to avert any crisis in EU-Turkish relations seems to be the result of the positions and terms set out by the Turkish side, Cyprus Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardis has said. He added that the Cypriot government will continue consultations with the EU Finnish Presidency in a constructive manner.

In a written statement, Mr. Pashiardis also said that the government has been officially informed by Finnish presidency that no proximity consultations will take place on the Finnish initiative, adding that the Presidency said that it will continue its efforts.

''We understand that this development is due to the positions and the terms presented by the Turkish side, which with its whole stance has rendered the holding of proximity consultations unachievable,'' the Spokesman added.

''The Cypriot government will continue to hold consultations with the Finnish Presidency, observing the same constructive stance and attitude that it has maintained so far,'' he also noted.

Earlier, Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja announced that the consultations in Finland were cancelled, adding that ''efforts to find a solution that will enable the uninterrupted continuation of Turkey's accession negotiations and improve the situation of both communities in Cyprus will continue.''

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops 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 Cypriot vessels and aircraft.

The Finnish presidency is trying to avert any possible derailment of Turkey's EU accession course, following Ankara's refusal to meet its EU obligations and Cyprus' position that Turkey must do exactly that before accession negotiations are allowed to move further on.

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