EU foreign ministers warn Turkey over ports issue.

By bne IntelliNews December 9, 2009
EU foreign ministers issued yet another warning over Turkey s failure to open its ports and airports to Cyprus . EU foreign ministers, who met in Brussels yesterday (Dec 8) ahead of EU leaders summit, say the EU welcomes Turkeys continued commitment to the negotiation process and praise the steps taken in the areas of the judiciary, civil-military relations and cultural rights. The ministers underline that the governments democratic initiative, including on the Kurdish issue is encouraging, but call on the government to step up the pace of reforms and to implement measures which have been started. However, the ministers express regret over Turkey s refusal to fulfil its obligation of the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement. Turkey has not extended the customs union to Cyprus , known as the Ankara Protocol, according to which Turkish ports and airports should be opened to Greek Cypriot traffic. The ministers asserts that in the absence of progress on this issue the Council of the European Union will maintain its measures from 2006, which will have a continuous effect on the overall progress in the negotiations. In 2006, the EU decided to freeze eight out of 35 policy chapters. But, Turkey , at least for now, seems to avoid new sanctions. On a related note, foreign minister of the Greek Cypriot government, Marcos Kyprianou, says that they would set certain conditions to open new chapters with Turkey .

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