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EU, Turkey Fail To Agree On Cyprus

(AFP) November 27, 2006 -- The European Union says it has broken off talks with Turkey aimed at ending the Turkish ban on Cypriot vessels using its ports.

Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja of current EU president Finland said agreement could not be reached. He was speaking in the Finnish town of Tampere after a meeting with the Turkish and Cypriot foreign ministers.

"There was not sufficiently common ground for reaching an agreement," Tuomioja said. "We regret this, but we do appreciate the constructive way in which all the parties did respond to our initiatives. But now we have to work on how we continue."

He added that "there will be consequences" for Turkey's EU accession talks. Business cannot go on "as usual," he said.

Under a customs agreement with the EU, Turkey must open its ports and airports to Cyprus, whose Greek-Cypriot administration it does not recognize.

The EU had given Turkey until December 6 to comply, or face suspension of its membership talks.

(compiled from agency reports)

EU Expands Eastward

EU Expands Eastward

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