Turkey to open ports if EU launches direct trade with Turkish Cyprus

Turkish chief negotiator for EU talks said that Turkey would support any agreement backed by both Turkish and Greek Cypriot peoples.

Turkey to open ports if EU launches direct trade with Turkish Cyprus

The Turkish chief negotiator for European Union (EU) talks said on Saturday that Turkey would support any agreement backed by both Turkish and Greek Cypriot peoples.

Turkey's State Minister Egemen Bagis said that Turkey would back any agreement reached by President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias that convinced both nations in the island.

"Turkey really wants to see a settlement in the island, but this solution should be fair," Bagis said during the Sixth Bosphorus Conference in Istanbul.

Bagis said that a settlement should be accepted and backed by the two nations in the island in order to be fair and lasting.

"Turkey will keep its promise to open its ports, however the promise made to Turkey should also be kept," he said.

Bagis said that the promise made to Turkey was to launch direct trade with the TRNC, and Turkey would open its ports if the EU kept its promise to launch direct trade with Turkish Cypriots.

Also, Bagis said that regional countries would support Turkish-Armenian protocol, which he hoped would bring peace to the region.

Bagis defined the EU as the biggest peace project of humanity, and said, "this peace project cannot be considered complete without Turkey's membership."

Bagis said Europe's becoming a global actor and influential in international issues depended on Turkey's membership, and said he believed the EU could not be a big actor without Turkey.

The minister also said that Turkey had always been an important part of Europe, and would continue to be so.

"You can trust Turkey, we will always stand by you, as long as you stand by us," Bagis also said.

The British Council, Delegation of the European Commission to Turkey, and the Foundation for Economic and Social Studies of Turkey (TESEV) are jointly organizing the Sixth Bosphorus Conference on "Turkey and the EU: Regaining Momentum."

This high-level conference is taking place in Istanbul on October 16-17.

The main seminar on the 17th will emphasise frank, off-the-record discussion of some of the most important and controversial aspects of EU-Turkey relations.

Among the participants of our previous five highly acclaimed conferences were Abdullah Gul, Ali Babacan, Mehmet Simsek, Olli Rehn, Carl Bildt, Maxime Verhagen, Lord Kinnock, Geoff Hoon, Peter Mandelson, Joost Lagendijk, Lord Hannay, Ahmet Davutoglu, Dominique Moïsi, Andrew Duff and many other senior figures to discuss the politics and economics of Turkish accession.

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Last Mod: 17 Ekim 2009, 18:30
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