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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-12-11

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM satisfied with EU decision on Turkey

  • [01] FM satisfied with EU decision on Turkey

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Monday evening expressed her satisfaction over an EU General Affairs Council compromise agreement regarding Turkey's European course.

    Speaking to reporters after marathon talks in Brussels, Bakoyannis noted that with Monday's agreement, there was a unified stance of the 25 member states, with a clear message to Turkey. "The only safe way for Turkey's smooth accession course is its full compliance to European criteria and preconditions," she said.

    "The European Union has decided, after a long and persistant debate, that none of the chapters relating to the Ankara Protocol on the customs union will open, that is, the eight chapters proposed by the European Commission. These chapters concern the free movement of goods, the right of establishment and the free rendering of services, financial services, agriculture and agricultural development, fisheries, transport, customs union and external relations," Bakoyannis said.

    The Greek foreign minister also noted that after an intense debate, the 25 decided on a "mechanism of assessment and control of Turkey's compliance on the issue of the protocol which begins in 2007, with an emphasis given in 2008 and if necessary in 2009, with a special reference to the European Commission's reports to the Council of Ministers."

    "In this way a concrete timeframe, with in between stops, is being established," Bakoyannis added.

    Regarding the remaining 26 chapters, Bakoyannis said, it was confirmed that they would be examined within the standing framework of the Intergovernmental Conference. It was also secured that these chapters would not close as long as Turkey does not comply to its committments.

    According to the minister, the "clear references of the conclusions of the meeting to Turkey's obligations which concern, among others, human rights, religious freedoms, minority rights, good neighbourly relations and the peaceful resolutions of differences, including the possibility of referal to the Intarnational Court at The Hague, are also of particular importance."

    "The Council is expecting a speedy progress on these issues," Bakoyannis added.

    "Today's results have confirmed Greece's correct policy and strategy regarding Turkey having a clear European prospect and concluding with accession in the EU. This prospect and conclusion presuppose the fulfillment of its obligations and committments," Bakoyannis said.

    "Our policy is summarised in 'complete fulfillment equals full accession'. We support the prospect of a European Turkey, we believe that Turkey can become a full member and it is her that should respond to the Europeam challenge and to its obligations," Bakoyannis concluded.

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