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UPDATED: 09:23, November 27, 2006
Turkish FM heads for Finland for talks on EU entry process, Cyprus issue
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Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul left for Finland on Sunday to attend a Euro- Mediterranean meeting, on the sidelines of which Turkey's EU accession process and Cyprus issue will be mainly tackled.

Gul said at Ankara Airport prior to his departure to Finland that he would meet his Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomioja during the visit to discuss Turkey's EU accession process and Cyprus issue.

As for the Cyprus issue, Gul said that his country "has assumed a constructive attitude since the very beginning", adding that "We believe that if a comprehensive solution will be found, there will be a broad cooperation in the East Mediterranean."

Meanwhile, the Turkish foreign minister denied reports that he will meet Cyprus Foreign Minister George Lillikas in Finland, asserting "these news reports are wrong."

"Turkish government has a clear policy. We will attend a meeting on Cyprus issue in which Turkish Cypriots, Greek Cypriots, Turkey and Greece will participate," he noted.

Turkey, aspiring to become an EU member, refuses to open its airports and harbors to Cypriot traffic in accordance with an EU- Turkey Customs Union Protocol unless the isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriots is lifted, which has deadlocked its EU entry process.

In an effort to avert a crisis between Turkey and the EU, Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja whose country was holding the EU rotating presidency has invited his Turkish and Cypriot counterparts to the Finnish city of Tampere, to work out a possible solution.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey militarily intervened and occupied the north of Cyprus following a coup by a group of Greek officers.

The internationally-recognized Republic of Cyprus entered theEU in the year of 2004 in the name of the whole island.

Source: Xinhua

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