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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 04-12-17
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 EU leaders give Turkey date, Balkenende to talk with Erdogan on Cyprus
EU leaders give Turkey date, Balkenende to talk with Erdogan on Cyprus
Brussels, Dec 17 (CNA) -- The European Union decided to open accession talks with Turkey on October 3 next year, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende announced late Thursday after late night discussions during the European Council working dinner.
He told a press conference that later this evening he would meet Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss with him the conclusion of tonights dinner discussions while European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso stressed that the EU leaders have made an offer to Turkey which it must not refuse.
Balkenende said they had a very interesting working dinner where they talked about some very important issues concerning the decision making which will be finalised tomorrow (Friday) when they will discuss the draft conclusions.
The Dutch Premier and current EU President said we can start negotiations with Turkey on the basis of the analysis of the Commission that has to do with the implementation of the Copenhagen criteria. The talks can start on October 3 next year.
EU leaders, he continued, also discussed the issue of the open-ended character of the negotiations. What is the goal of negotiations the goal is accession. This was already indicated in the report of the Commission; there is not a guarantee for an outcome. And if these negotiations will lead to a situation that membership will not be possible, then lets ensure that the candidate state will be anchored in the European circles, he added.
Balkenende stressed that this is a very important issue because member states do not have the same position on the question of Turkey.
He expressed satisfaction that the leaders were able to conclude the wording in paragraph 23 of the draft conclusions.
On Cyprus, he said they discussed it and later this evening he will meet Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and tomorrow we will continue talking about this issue.
I am satisfied with tonights discussions and the conclusions we could draw, he added.
On his part, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said tonight, the EU has opened its doors to Turkey and in doing so, it made a balanced offer which took into consideration Turkeys legitimate preoccupation as well as those of the EU member states.
Barroso said that he genuinely believes that this is an offer that Turkey should be glad to accept and shows clearly the end goal, that of membership. It sets a date for starting negotiations, October 3, 2005, he said.
He congratulated the Presidency for being able to unite all member states around common positions, which will be formalised tomorrow (today), and the heads of state or governments for agreeing a common position. At such a time, any lesser consideration should be set aside by Turkey, Turkey should accept this very good offer of the EU, Barroso noted.
To a question by CNA whether the negotiations will lead to the signing of the additional protocol to the Ankara Agreement or a statement by Turkey about signing the protocol, Balkenende said talking about this issue is relevant. But I want to have a fair play with Mr. Erdogan, and I will not discuss this issue with the media.
Asked if Erdogan can be convinced to change his mind on Cyprus, Balkenende said we talked about the issue of Cyprus and relations in Turkey and Cyprus. It is important that we talk about it in a prudent way. And it is not my task at the moment to speculate on what will happen when we have contacts with Mr. Erdogan.
 Turkey has to sign Protocol beforee talks start, EU draft says
Turkey has to sign Protocol before talks start, EU draft says
by Gregoris Savva
Brussels, Dec 17 (CNA) -- A European Union draft on Turkey's accession prospects calls on Ankara to sign a protocol adapting the Ankara Agreement so that it includes Cyprus, before the actual start of membership talks set to begin on 3 October, 2005.
The draft, according to diplomatic sources, is closer to the demands of the Cyprus government for recognition by Ankara, the only country that recognises the self-styled regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus and refuses to extend the same recognition to an EU member, whose vote is seeking for the start of membership talks.
The European Council welcomes Turkey's decision to sign the Protocol on the adaptation of the Ankara Agreement (Custonms Union) to take into account the accession of the ten new member states, the draft says.
For this purpose, the presidency refers to its statement in the annex of the EU summit conclusions.
The annex notes that the presidency, on behalf of the EU, welcomes the initialing by the Commission and Turkey on 17 December of the Protocol extending the Ankara Agreement to the 25 member states.
The signing of the Agreement must take place before the actual start of accession negotiations with Turkey, it adds.
It also says that the objective of the negotiations is accession but notes that they are ''an open-ended process, the outcome of which cannot be guaranteed in advance.''
If an applicant was unable to meet all criteria for membership, ''it must be ensured that the candidate state concerned is fully anchored in the European structures through the strongest possible bond.''
 Annan: no plans at present to resume Cyprus talks
Annan: no plans at present to resume Cyprus talks
by Themis Themistocleous
Brussels, Dec 17 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said here today that at present he has no plans to resume negotiations on Cyprus but expressed hope that there would be further developments towards a renewed effort.
Speaking at a press conference after talks with European Union leaders, he said the question of Cyprus was not raised during his stay in Brussels.
''I have been following developments here in the European Council on Cyprus with a keen interest. I hope developments will be positive so that in the future the question of Cyprus is not a problem,'' Annan told the press conference.
He said that the UN had hoped for a solution and added ''the effort failed but there is a tomorrow, I hope there will be further developments.''
Responding to questions, he said Cyprus did not come up during his stay here.
''As to whether there will be another round of talks, after the vote in April (on a UN proposed solution plan) I did indicate that the parties should reflect and determine how to move on and once this is done and they have some ideas my good offices mission could be available,'' Annan added.
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 EU welcomes Turkey's decision to sign adaptation protocol
EU welcomes Turkey's decision to sign adaptation protocol
Brussels, Dec 17 (CNA) -- The EU welcomes Turkey's decision to sign the protocol of adaptation of the Ankara Agreement, taking account of the accession of the ten new EU member states, including Cyprus.
 EU welcomes Turkey's decision to sign adaptation protocol (FULL TEXT)
EU welcomes Turkey's decision to sign adaptation protocol (FULL TEXT)
Brussels, Dec 17 (CNA) -- Full text of Paragraph 19 of the final Presidency Conclusions:
The European Council welcomed Turkey's decision to sign the Protocol regarding the adaptation of the Ankara Agreement, taking account of the accession of the ten new Member States.
In this light, it welcomed the declaration of Turkey that ''the Turkish Government confirms that it is ready to sign the Protocol on the adaptation of the Ankara Agreement prior to the actual start of the accession negotiations and after reaching agreement on and finalising the adaptations which are necessary in view of the current membership of the European Union.''
 Cyprus satisfied with EU summit decision on Turkey
Cyprus satisfied with EU summit decision on Turkey
by Gregory Savva
Brussels, Dec 17 (CNA) - Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos has said he is satisfied with the outcome of the EU summit in Brussels, which decided to give Turkey a date to commence accession negotiations.
''We put forward our demands and I think today's decision satisfies our demands to a great extent,'' he told a press conference in Brussels.
The Cypriot President added that the decision grants the Republic of Cyprus the right to veto Turkey's EU course, in the event that Ankara does not fulfill its commitment to sign the customs union protocol.
He added that this statement is on record in the summit's minutes.
Asked if today's decision approached the request of the Republic of Cyprus for the normalisation of its relations with Ankara, President Papadopoulos said ''we believe the protocol itself brings about normalisation, at least in the stages that it covers (free movement of persons, goods etc).''
''The protocol covered many of the demands we had put forward,'' the President added.
Referring to the possibility of Cyprus having exercised its right to veto today's decision, President Papadopoulos said the question that tormented him was whether the veto would have promoted a settlement of the Cyprus problem or simply satisfied the feelings of the people.
Asked if the outcome of the European Council favoured a new initiative in the Cyprus problem, President Papadopoulos said there was no direct provision of linking the two, adding that it would be very harmful if all Turkey's demands were linked to the Cyprus problem. ''The solution of the Cyprus problem is my pursuit,'' he added.
President Papadopoulos said he was leaving Brussels with a clear conscience ''and the certainty that I did the best for Cyprus, its rights and the rights of its people.''
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