Turkish minister rules out recognition of Cyprus


Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul ruled out this evening any form of recognition by his country of Cyprus, a move seen by some as a condition for the EU to open accession talks with Ankara.

"Direct or indirect recognition of Cyprus is out of the question," Mr Gul told reporters in Brussels as EU leaders held talks over Turkish entry at a dinner meeting.

Earlier, the President of the European Commission urged Turkey to "go the extra mile" to recognise Cyprus and convince sceptical Europeans that it is ready to open EU membership talks.

"The challenge for Turkey is to win the hearts and minds of those European citizens who are open to,

Jose Manuel Barroso:
Jose Manuel Barroso: "Turkey must sooner rather than later break new ground"

"I believe Turkey must sooner rather than later break new ground. It must go the extra mile," he said.

"Cyprus will be sitting at the negotiating table when EU membership talks begin for Turkey. So the question for Turkey is: what kind of message does it send when you do not recognise all the members sitting at the table of the club you want to join?"

Ankara has so far refused to recognise Cyprus directly or indirectly, arguing it is an issue for the United Nations.