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15 December, 2000
Greece did not raise the issue of the Turkish candidacy to the European Union during the summit in Nice, France, Prime Minister Costas Simitis told foreign correspondents on Thursday.
He said that since Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit did not raise the issue, he could not have done so.
Simitis was speaking after a luncheon given in his honor by the Foreign Press Association in an Athens hotel, which was followed by a press conference.
He stressed that Turkey's partnership relations with the EU are part of a political framework that was initially arrived at in Helsinki and details Turkey's obligations as a candidate member-state.
He added that this framework would have to be implemented sooner or later, otherwise Turkey would find itself outside the course it should follow to enter the European Union.
Simitis also said that there might be "verbal effusions" on Turkey's part, during the accession course, adding that a "country and a society need time to adjust to new conditions".
He stressed that Greece should show patience, perseverance, a responsible attitude and confront the issue as a long term one, since the efforts underway aim at incorporating Turkey in a system that leads to peace and cooperation.
Source: Athens News Agency