Sunday, December 03, 2006

EU partially halts talks with Turkey

Source: EU to 'part freeze' Turkey talks - CNN

Citing Turkey’s failure to open its ports, the European Commission recommended this past week to partially suspend talks (8 of the 35 policy areas composing the talks are to be suspended) with Turkey regarding its possible membership in the EU. It additionally said that no policy area talks will reach resolution until Turkey followed through on its commitments to open its ports to traffic with Cyprus.

A senior EU official said a strong message needed to be sent to Turkey that it needs to meet its obligations; EU foreign ministers will make the ultimate decision on December 11th when they convene. Unfortunately, experts believe the Commission’s move will fail to sway Turkish officials on their stance against Cyprus.

Analysts in Turkey fear that suspension of talks will negatively affect the reform process in Turkey. Turkey offered to open its ports to Cyprus contingent on the EU pledging to put an end to the economic isolation faced by Turkish Cypriot in northern Cyprus – that isolation being chiefly caused by the Greek Cypriot government in Nicosia.


- Will a failure of Turkey and the EU to reach a compromise on the issue over Cyprus cause more instability in the region?

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