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Turkey May Open Port, Airport To Cyprus Traffic

(RFE/RL) December 7, 2006 -- Turkey has reportedly offered to open one port and one airport to traffic from Cyprus, in a move that could potentially resolve an impasse with the European Union over Turkish membership in the bloc.

European Commission spokeswoman Krisztina Nagy said in Brussels that the commission is now asking for clarification to determine whether the offer meets the bloc's demands to avoid a partial freezing of membership talks.

"The commission considers that the Turkish initiative, if confirmed, is an important step toward the full implementation of the Ankara Protocol [committing Turkey to open its ports and airports to all EU traffic]," she said. "This should have a positive influence on the discussion concerning the management of the continuation of the accession negotiations with Turkey.".

The European Union has threatened to partially freeze membership talks if Ankara does not agree to open its ports to Cyprus, whose Greek-Cypriot administration Turkey does not recognize.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry declined to provide any details.

(Reuters, AP, AFP)

EU Expands Eastward

EU Expands Eastward

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