Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cyprus row halts EU-Turkey talks

Talks between the EU and Turkey over Cyprus have broken down without agreement, Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja has said.

EU officials have said that a failure to break the impasse could lead to the collapse of Turkey's EU membership bid.

The EU had given Turkey until 6 December to open its ports to traffic from Cyprus, whose government Turkey refuses to recognise.

"An agreement could not be reached," said Mr Tuomioja in Tampere, Finland.

Finland holds the rotating presidency of the EU until the end of the year.

Mr Tuomioja was speaking after holding separate meetings with the Turkish and Cypriot foreign ministers - Abdullah Gul and George Lillikas.

He said no new talks had been arranged and the EU would have to decide where this left Turkey's membership bid.

"There will be consequences," he said. "Business as usual cannot continue."

Read the rest of the article on BBC News

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