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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-03-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Enlargement commissioner Rehn: EU expects Turkey to fully implement Ankara Protocol

  • [01] Enlargement commissioner Rehn: EU expects Turkey to fully implement Ankara Protocol

    The Europpean Union expects Turkey to fully implement the Ankara Additional Protocol, visiting European Commissioner for enlargement Olli Rehn said Thursday in Athens, speaking to reporters after a meeting with foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis. He also clarified that free movement is a part of the European lawful order, and means free access to the Turkish ports and airports for Cypriot vessels.

    Rehn stressed that Turkey is obliged to comply with this obligation, and also with the obligation to contribute to the efforts for finding a solution for the reunification of Cyprus.

    During their discussion at the foreign ministry, Bakoyannis reminded the Commissioner of the constructive stance Greece has manifested on Turkey's European course, and stressed that progress in satisfying the criteria, obligations and prerequisites -- which include implementation of the Protocol extending Turkey's Customs Union with the EU to all the EU member states -- depended on Ankara itself.

    Rehn described his discussion with Bakoyannis as "very constructive", and noted that Turkey clearly had a European orientation.

    Replying to press questions on the possible consequences if Turkey failed to comply with its obligations, Rehn cautioned that "we must not dramatise the situation", adding that "Turkey, at this time, has all the prospects of avoiding bad developments" through accelerating reforms in the country on the one hand, and on the other hand fulfilling its obligations, satisfying the terms and conditions regarding the implementation of a just state in daily life, and regarding the Protocol and the Republic of Cyprus.

    Rehn reminded that this progress would be assesed "in the well-known strict manner" always followed by the Commission, at the end of 2006.

    Bakoyannis and Rehn extensively reviewed issues concerning the EU's enlargement and, according to the Greek foreign minister, "it is a known fact that there is concern in the public opinion on the further course and limits of EU enlargement".

    She stressed that the enlargement must continue with "cautious steps", as it would "serve as the catalyst for peace, progress and stability in the region of the Western Balkans".

    Rehn added that the Commission appreciated Greece's contribution and role with respect to stability and security in the Western Balkans region, and stressed that the next EU enlargement would concern SE Europe, "where the EU must send a positive message".

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