EU-Turkey: More frequent contacts, Tajani in Istanbul

08 June, 18:21

(ANSAmed) - ANKARA, JUNE 8 - Talks between Turkey and the European Commission are becoming more and more frequent, three weeks before Cyprus will become the EU's new president. Turkey has announced its intentions to boycott the new presidency.

Today the vice president of the European Commission in charge of industry and business, Antonio Tajani, arrived in Istanbul for talks with Turkey's minister for Europe, Egemen Bagis. Tajani will also speak at the congress of the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC), chaired by the Italian Luisa Todini.

Yesterday a meeting took place in Istanbul between Turkish authorities, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton and EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule (in Turkey for the second time in 10 days). According to the Turkish press, the defeat of the conservative Nicolas Sarkozy, who was against Turkey's accession in the EU, at the French presidential elections and the victory of the socialist Francois Hollande could give a new impulse to the EU candidacy of the large Mediterranean country - the 16th-largest economic power worldwide - and allow negotiations to be resumed after two years of near inactivity. However, Turkey has announced that it wants to freeze political ties with the EU during the half year in which Cyprus chairs the European Union, from July to December. Accession talks with Turkey started in 2005. So far only 9 of the 35 chapters have been opened, and only one has been closed. (ANSAmed).

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