21 November, 2006
The EU Finnish Presidency has given Turkey until the first week of December to open its ports and airports to Cyprus vessels and aircrafts or risk consequences for its membership process.
In another development, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn has said that a European Commission meeting on December 6 would be ''a logical moment to make a recommendation on the Commission's part if Turkey has not fulfilled its obligations''.
Prime Minister of Finland Matti Vanhanen has said ''if there is no agreement and Turkey does not honor its commitments, the EU will need to consider the implications for the accession process''.
''As for deciding on an appropriate EU response... we expect the (European) Commission to come forward with recommendations during the first week of December,'' he said in a speech in Helsinki.
Vanhanen said he wanted the Commission, to quickly make a recommendation on Turkey's compliance with the customs agreement so the bloc's foreign ministers can weigh their response at a meeting on December 11.
''I want to make one thing very clear. The presidency has no intention of raising the Turkey issue at the December European Council,'' -- the EU summit on December 14-15 -- he said, adding: ''Decisions will be made before that.''
Commissioner Rehn stressed that the Turkey-Cyprus issue should not be allowed to dominate the mid-December EU summit.
Source: Athens News Agency