Turkey's refusal to officially recognize European Union member Cyprus is complicating the Oct. 3 opening of EU entry talks, with France and Cyprus insisting Monday that Ankara clarify its stand on the Mediterranean island's status.
The EU's executive Commission warned Turkey that it would have to negotiate its EU membership with all 25 nations in the bloc, and French President Jacques Chirac insisted Ankara must explain its position on Cyprus.
Ankara signed a customs deal last month with all EU nations, but later insisted that did not amount to a recognition of the Cypriot government.
"After its unilateral decision on Cyprus, Turkey must offer clarifications and ensure the 25-nation Union of its willingness to fully respect all of its obligations," Chirac said in Paris.
The EU head office said Cyprus also would be involved in the talks, which are scheduled to open formally in little over a month.
"If and when the negotiations with Turkey open, it is evident the negotiations will open with the 25 member states," Commission spokeswoman Francoise Le Bail said.
Turkey has said it was fully confident that the signing of the customs agreement was the last requirement to open the talks. Previously, it said it would not accept new conditions before the negotiations, reports the AP.
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