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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Turkey plans Cyprus talks with EU

"Turkey plans Cyprus talks with EU

TURKISH Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul was quoted yesterday as saying Ankara would hold talks in early March with the European Union on the thorny issue of signing a protocol extending its customs union to Cyprus.

Turkey does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus. But Ankara cannot begin its own talks in October to join the EU without first signing the customs union protocol.

“Negotiations on the customs union protocol begin at the start of March. Our friends will head for Brussels in a few days’ time,” the Radikal daily quoted Gul as saying.

EU diplomats say Turkey had been expected to sign the protocol by now and that Ankara was dragging its feet over a pledge it made at last December’s historic summit which set October 3, 2005, as the date for the launch of its accession talks.

The Referans daily said the talks on the protocol could last two months."

Turkey plans Cyprus talks with EU