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General Affairs and External Relations Council: start of accession negotiations with Turkey

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The prolonged dispute among the Ministers for Foreign Affairs revolved around the clause in the EU/Turkey negotiating framework which defines the objective of the negotiations. Under the final agreement that was reached after more than a day of straight debate, the text conserves the original wording that "The shared objective of the negotiations is [Turkey's] accession". The agreed text also adds that "While having full regard to all [EU political criteria], including the absorption capacity of the Union, if Turkey is not in a position to assume in full all the obligations of membership it must be ensured that Turkey is fully anchored in the European structures through the strongest possible bond". Ankara was also concerned about the paragraph in the draft negotiating framework which insisted that Turkey "progressively align" its policies in international organisations with that of the EU. This paragraph was feared in Ankara to eventually allow Cyprus to join NATO. However, the dispute on this point was finally settled after Turkey received reassurance from lawyers as well as from US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that NATO was not an issue in the EU talks.
SHOTLIST

Type: Archives   Reference: I-049339   Date: 26/11/2012   Duration: 05:54
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