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EU Tells Turkey 'No Shortcuts' To Membership

(AFP) December 8, 2006 -- Finland, the current holder of the rotating EU Presidency, says a reported offer by Turkey to open one of its ports to traffic from Cyprus is insufficient to fulfill customs obligations with the bloc.

The Turkish offer was made on December 7 in an attempt to end the deadlock over its bid to join the EU.

But Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen told reporters in Helsinki today that "there is no shortcut" for Turkey's membership in the European Union.

"Of course, we hope that [Turkey's offer] will be a step which will lead to the fact that Turkey will implement the so-called Ankara Protocol," he added. "But, now, what Turkey has said, it is not enough."

Vanhanen said he expected EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on December 11 to restrict Turkey's accession talks in some way as punishment for Ankara's refusal to extend a customs union with the EU to Cyprus.

(compiled from agency reports)

EU Expands Eastward

EU Expands Eastward

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