17 December 2004 -- A draft final statement prepared at the EU summit says that the European Union expects Turkey to initial an accord today giving Cyprus de facto recognition and sign it before Ankara opens EU membership talks next year in October.
The text, drafted by the Dutch EU presidency after overnight negotiations, says Turkey will sign a protocol extending its EU association agreement to the 10 new member states, including Cyprus, before entry talks start.
Signing the protocol would imply de facto recognition of Cyprus by Turkey.
The draft was circulated to delegations shortly before Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende was due to meet Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan ahead of the final day of a landmark summit on starting negotiations with Ankara.
Balkenende told reporters no agreement had been reached after a post-midnight meeting with Erdogan to convey the EU leaders' terms for starting talks with Turkey.