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19 October, 1999
The government said yesterday that the "ball was now in Turkey's court" to prove whether it could meet EU candidate-member standards.
"It depends on Turkey itself whether this becomes a reality," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said. "The decision will be taken at the Helsinki summit."
European Union leaders warned Turkey on Saturday it should not take for granted that it will be made a candidate for membership at a year-end EU summit in Helsinki.
The leaders said all 15 EU countries wanted to give Turkey its coveted candidacy in December, but that it would have to address concerns over Cyprus and human rights first.
Mr. Reppas said the government has done what it had to ensure the country's interests and denied charges that sovereign rights had been ceded.
Verheugen:The European Union's Commissioner for enlargement also noted that Turkey would do well to improve relations with Greece before EU leaders decided in December whether to make it an EU candidate.
BRUSSELS, 19/10/1999 (Reuters/ANA)
"In the run-up to Helsinki every positive signal that the Turkish government can give to lead to further improvements of Turkish-Greek relations really will be helpful and welcome," Commissioner Guenter Verheugen was quoted by a spokesman as telling a g roup of reporters from EU applicant countries.
Source: Athens News Agency