EU resolves standoff with Cyprus on Turkish EU bid

June 12, 2006 20:15

Turkey was set to conclude the first round of membership negotiations with the European Union on Monday, after EU foreign ministers resolved a standoff with Cyprus over Ankara's relationship with the divided island. The EU agreed to Nicosia's demand that Ankara be reminded of its obligation to normalize relations with the country's Greek Cypriot government, while Nicosia agreed to drop its objections to completing science and research discussions in one day, paving the way for the first of 35 rounds of talks to take place. The science issues are seen as straightforward and uncontroversial and they are the first of 35 chapters that Turkey must complete negotiations on before it can join the EU. The process is expected to last at least a decade.

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