EU-Turkey talks in new crisis

THE European Commission has recommended the partial suspension of membership talks with Turkey because of the Ankara government's refusal to open its ports to EU member Cyprus.

By Graham Dines

THE European Commission has recommended the partial suspension of membership talks with Turkey because of the Ankara government's refusal to open its ports to EU member Cyprus.

The decision is expected to be ratified at the heads of government conference in two weeks' time, although Prime Minister Tony Blair believes it will be a mistake to send the Turks a negative message on membership.

Finland's Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, is to visit Turkey on Friday in an attempt to resolve the stand-off.


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EU-Turkey talks now hinge on Ankara preparedness to trade with the Greek-speaking part of Cyprus that joined the union in 2004.

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