Tuesday, November 21, 2006

To the Finnish Presidency's Warning...

To the Finnish Presidency's Warning

Turkey's Response
21 Nov 2006 15:49:00

By Christos Pagonis

Sources: ANA-MPA, ΝΕΤ

Touching on the Finnish Presidency’s stark warning, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, "When things we cannot accept come before us, it is impossible for us to sign them," assuring that the talks are continuing. He further argued that the country’s Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is to fly to Helsinki escorted by a panel of state officials and diplomats.

Furthermore, commenting on information whereby the Finnish EU Presidency is merely waiting for Turkey to either accept or turn down the proposal, Turkey’s FM Abdullah Gul assured that the talks with the Finnish Presidency are continuing.

"Don’t give such a date to this work, (this is) blackmail. You cannot do this with such things," claimed Gul, who is due in Helsinki on Sunday. The Turkish FM explained that sometimes things are wrongly put, adding, "The Finnish Presidency is making efforts, we [Turkey] too support those efforts."

Speaking to reporters after his meeting with PM Erdogan and State Minister Ali Babacan, Gul maintained that the talks are continuing and should all interested parties come up with a way, Turkey would gladly wait, although it has done everything on its part. Gul also said that Turkey singed the additional protocol to see free trade with the breakaway Turkish Cypriots it backs in the north of the divided Mediterranean island get restored.

The Turkish FM further added that during the talks held prior to the approval of the protocol, the decision calling on Turkey to unconditionally sing and approve the protocol turned into a decision just asking Turkey to sign it. Gul also noted that Ankara is expecting the EU to commit itself to its obligations. "We still have time," he added.

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