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Turkey Undeterred By Cyprus' EU Blocks - FM

Turkey's final goal is full EU membership and it will continue its path 'with determination', said its Foreign Ministry spokesman Burak Özügergin today, following the General Affairs Council meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

"The Conclusions of the General Affairs Council (GAC) released today reiterate that Turkey is in the EU’s forthcoming enlargement strategy and confirm the goal of accession," said a FM statement today.

It added 'the GAC Conclusions, among other issues, mention recent positive developments in the reform process and commend our active foreign policy.'

Referring to Cyprus' move to freeze or add pre-conditions to the opening of more negotiation chapters, the spokesman said "there is no EU Council decision concerning the chapters referred to in the statements made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Greek Cypriot Administration following the General Affairs Council of yesterday in Brussels. These are unilateral statements of the Greek Cypriot Administration."

"Despite the intensive and well-intended efforts of the Swedish Presidency and other Council members cognizant of the importance of Turkey’s EU membership and the current expectations for the successful completion of the ongoing negotiations between two leaders on the Island, the shortsightedness of one member state is reflected in some areas of the Conclusions, which are incompatible with international law," said the spokesman.

"We share our views on this issue with our friends in the EU and we will naturally continue to do so. Indeed, it is unfortunate that the GAC Conclusions do not openly commend Turkey’s support to the ongoing negotiations on the Island and silence has been kept on the issue of chapters unjustly suspended by some Member States," it added.

Commenting on the Turkish-Cypriot community, the statement said "while the decision of the EU Council of 26 April 2004 to put an end to the isolations imposed on the TRNC has not been fully implemented and the commitments in this respect have not been respected, it is clear that making demands from Turkey on the issue of the Additional Protocol is unfair."

Turkey will continue to work on the Environment chapter, said the spokesman.

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