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Rasmussen: accession negotiations to be completed,
2002-11-06 15:13:04

By Nicos Bellos-- Brussels, Nov 6 (CNA) - The European Union could give a date to Turkey to start accession negotiations with the European Union, but only under strict preconditions to satisfy the political criteria, said Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, whose country chairs the EU rotating Presidency.

Informing Euro MPs on the results of the Brussels European Council held 24- 25 October, Rasmussen referred to the ten candidate countries, among them Cyprus, and assured that accession negotiations will be completed before or during the Copenhagen European Council of December 12-13.

Rasmussen said the EU has sent a clear message to Turkey that the European Council is satisfied with the progress made in accomplishing the political criteria and called on her to continue the reform procedure.|

Concluding, Rasmussen said the next step for the Turkish candidacy would be in Copenhagen.

The President of the European People's Party, was contrary to setting a date for starting accession negotiations with Turkey, noting that now was not the time for such a decision.

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