Füle to hold talks in Turkey

Füle to hold talks in Turkey

Füle to hold talks in Turkey

EU commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule. AFP Photo

Stefan Fule, the EU commissioner for enlargement and neighborhood policy, will pay a visit to Turkey this week, in the wake of the annual progress report released by the European Commission on Oct. 16. Fule will participate in a conference in Istanbul and hold official talks in Ankara on Nov. 8.

Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış has expressed hope for the opening of more than 10 negotiation chapters with the EU, if a settlement can be reached on the Cyprus dispute.

A Greek Cypriot negotiator will visit Ankara soon, as part of the recent deal between Ankara and Athens for mutual visits of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot representatives of capitals, Bağış said yesterday in a televised interview.

“A new peace plan like the Annan Plan may come out, maybe a Ban Ki-moon plan,” he said, expressing hope that problems in Turkey’s EU membership negotiations could be overcome if a resolution in Cyprus is found.

Turkey began accession talks with the EU as far back as 2005, but some negotiation chapters are currently blocked by the Greek Cypriots because of Turkey’s long-standing territorial dispute with Greek Cyprus.

Turkey’s refusal to implement the Customs Union for Greek Cypriots, which requires the Turkish government to allow Greek Cypriot vessels to use its air and sea ports, has prompted the EU to freeze eight chapters in Turkey’s accession talks.