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17 July, 1998
"We have no intention whatever of changing the Luxembourg conclusions and we have made it quite clear," British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in reference to EU-Turkey relations yesterday.
In response to questions by the national New Greek Television (NET), the British PM added that "it isn't the desire of the EU to discriminate in favor of Turkey, but it is not the desire of the EU to discriminate against them either".
Asked whether there were any serious indication that Turkey was prepared to fulfill criteria required for other candidate countries, the British premier said:
"...our criteria are the same whether it is Turkey or any other country. Now what then happens as a response to that is up to Turkey, I cannot decide that, that is for the Turkish government to decide."
Mr. Blair was also asked if his government supported the view that the island republic's accession negotiations should go ahead.
"We want to see them go ahead, we have made it clear there are no pre-conditions", he said, adding that things would be far easier if there was a settlement of the Cyprus issue, without however, this being a condition.
"It is easier to do if we have a settlement that is lasting and durable for the island," he stressed.
Source: Athens News Agency