New York, 20. September 2006 Press release

Plassnik: "European commitment to be shown by Turkey"

20.09.2006

Foreign Minister met with Turkish counterpart in New York

New York, 20 September 2006 – "The negotiations between the EU and Turkey are entering a critical stage. Important decisions will be taken this autumn. Turkey is now expected to show realism and a clear European commitment," said Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik in New York today following her meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül on the margins of the UN General Assembly.

Plassnik recalled the tight corset for negotiations with Turkey that had been prepared by the EU. It was also important to achieve full application of the Ankara Protocol by Turkey to all 25 Member States. "The EU has clarified its expectations with regard to the implementation of the Ankara Protocol as regards Cyprus. There can be no white spots on the map of cross-border cooperation in Europe," emphasised Plassnik.

A lot remained to be done also with regard to political reforms, for instance in the fields of religious freedom and freedom of opinion. The mere announcement of measures was simply not enough, said the Foreign Minister. "We have always pursued a cautious and responsible policy towards Turkey: support for reforms, open negotiations, but no automatic procedure, no shortcuts and no digression from European values. There must be no "all or nothing" thinking that sees accession as the only target of negotiations," concluded the Foreign Minister.

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