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06 December, 2000
Prime minister Costas Simitis on Tuesday briefed President Costis Stephanopoulos on the text of the EU-Turkey partnership agreement agreed by EU foreign ministers the preceding day.
The EU Council of Foreign Ministers-General Affairs meeting in Brussels on Monday approved the "EU Accession Partnership Agreement", which is a political and economic plan, or "roadmap" for Turkey to follow if it is to join the EU.
The ministers also endorsed the 15-naton bloc's ambitious plan to admit a dozen new members during their last meeting before the December 7-9 summit in the French resort town of Nice, as well as a text on setting up permanent security and military structures under the EU's new common foreign and security policy.
After his half-hour meeting with the President, Simitis told reporters that from a study of the partnership text it arose that Turkey must make every effort towards resolution of the Cyprus issue and must try to overcome its differences with other countries.
The text, he added, provided that if Turkey failed to live up to its obligations, then the EU could stop allocating funding to the country.
Simitis described the Accession Partnership Agreement as an "operational text" that sets out the road that must be followed in Turkey's relations with the EU and other countries.
"We believe that, between the Helsinki agreement and the Partnership Agreement, a framework has been created that obliges Turkey to adapt to the international norms, to international law, and to develop good neighborly relations with all its neighbors," the premier said.
He said that the partnership accord was "a further step forward from the Helsinki agreement", adding that "there are neither losers nor winners".
Source: Athens News Agency