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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-06-12

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Athens satisfied with compromise to continue EU entry talks after Cyprus deal

  • [01] Athens satisfied with compromise to continue EU entry talks after Cyprus deal

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis expressed satisfaction here over the compromise solution reached by the European Union's foreign ministers on Monday concerning the opening of the first of 35 policy "chapters" foreseen in negotiations with Turkey.

    Bakoyannis said consensus was ultimately achieved with the agreement, while issues raised by the Republic of Cyprus were safeguarded at the same time.

    According to the foreign minister, this is a positive development in extremely complex and difficult negotiations during which, as she added, Athens backed the justified concerns of Cyprus and strived to achieve consensus.

    Bakoyannis further said the twin commitments Turkey has undertaken as a candidate country towards the EU and the Republic of Cyprus have been secured with the temporary closing of this first chapter, which focuses on science and development.

    The foreign minister also pointed out that the agreed text places particular emphasis on the implementation of the customs union protocol and that the outcome confirms the correctness of the strategic option determined and implemented by Greece.

    Lastly, Bakoyannis said developments were also positive regarding the content of the paragraph referring to Turkey in the text of conclusions for the upcoming European Council, one expected to be endorsed by EU leaders in Brussels on June 16.

    Meanwhile, the compromise agreed to by the European Union's foreign ministers underlines the importance of Turkey complying with the Association Agreement, including the Additional Protocol and Customs Union, as well as the Partnership Relation, which constitute basic elements of pre-accession strategy. Failure to implement commitments in full will affect the overall progress of negotiations. Taking this into consideration, the EU underlines all the relevant elements of the Declaration of the EU and of member-states of Sept. 21, 2005. According to the above, the EU, if necessary, will return to the specific chapter at the right moment.

    According to European diplomatic sources in Luxembourg, Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn indicated that it is the last warning to Ankara regarding the fulfilment of its commitments and that the 25-nation bloc will fully scrutinise Turkey's progress in October.

    Caption: Foreign Minister Bakoyannis (L) talks with High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana during a past meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Klosterneuburg, Austria last May. ANA-MPA/EPA photo /G. Schneider.

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