Source Pravda.Ru

Britain pushes Turkey-EU talks despite Cyprus dilemma

Negotiations on accepting Turkey to the European Union should start next month as it was previously planned, despite Turkey's refusal to recognize the republic of Cyprus, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw declared Thursday. " target=_blank>accepting Turkey to the European Union should start next month as it was previously planned, despite Turkey's refusal to recognize the republic of Cyprus, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw declared Thursday.

The issue has emerged amid growing skepticism over whether the 25-member EU should expand to include Turkey, a poor, populous and mainly Muslim nation.

We should have faith in the power of the union to help resolve problems," Straw said in a speech at the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Turkey signed a deal extending a customs union with the EU to include Cyprus and nine other countries that joined the bloc in 2004. But it upset many EU governments by issuing a separate declaration stating its signature on the customs deal did not mean it recognizes the Cypriot government.

Negotiations between Turkey and the EU are likely to be "long and complex" while Turkey continues to institute reforms, underlined Straw.

But failure to pursue the talks "would not only compromise the credibility of the EU but might also endanger the considerable progress already made in Turkey," the AP quated Straw as saying.

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