22 November, 2007
European Union Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn has called on Turkey to implement the Ankara Protocol, opening its ports and airports to Cypriot-flagged ships and aircraft.
Speaking at the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament, on the occasion of the presentation of Turkey's progress report to the EMPs, one day after his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, the Commissioner also referred to the Cyprus issue and stressed the need for "serious negotiations" for a comprehensive settlement of the pending problem.
He noted that he discussed the Cyprus problem with UN officials, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Responding to a question on the so-called direct trade between the EU and Cyprus' Turkish occupied areas, he said that the issue is before the Council, expressing hope that progress will be made.
The Commissioner urged Ankara to make progress in the reform process, especially on religious freedom and freedom of expression.
On Tuesday, Rehn told a press conference that the Commission believes that in December it could open some negotiating chapters in Turkey's accession course, such as consumer protection and European networks.
Source: Athens News Agency