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FACTDROP: Turkey's EU membership bid in limbo amid Cyprus row


Turkey's EU membership bid in limbo amid Cyprus row

Πηγή: Eubusiness
Oct 12 2011

(BRUSSELS) - Turkey's hopes of joining the European Union are at a standstill, with the European Commission criticising Ankara on Wednesday for a lack of progress in normalising relations with Cyprus.

"Regrettably, accession negotiations have not moved forward for more than one year," EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuele told the European parliament.

"There are frustrations about this on both sides," he said on presenting reports on the candidacies of EU aspirants.

Turkey has threatened to freeze relations with the EU when Cyprus, a divided Mediterranean island that it does not recognise, takes over the rotating presidency of the 27-nation bloc in July 2012.

The EU enlargement report says Ankara has "made progress" in meeting EU membership criteria but "further results are needed as regards fundamental rights, in particular to assure freedom of expression in practice."

The commission added that "there is no progress towards normalisation of bilateral relations with the Republic of Cyprus", despite repeated appeals from Brussels.

Cyprus has been divided along ethnic lines since Turkish troops invaded the island and occupied its northern third in 1974 in response to an Athens-engineered coup in Nicosia aimed at union with Greece.

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