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Europe

Cyprus Threatens To Veto Turkey

Cyprus has said it will vote against Turkey when EU leaders meet in December to decide on opening membership talks with Ankara. Meanwhile, Turkey has called for changes to the EU Commission's report on the country.

Cyprus has raised the specter of voting against Turkey when EU leaders gather in December to decide whether to open membership negotiations with Ankara. President Tassos Papadopoulos told Cyprus television on Monday that Cyprus reserved the right to use its veto. "We will decide on the matter in December," he said, adding that it would be "no easy thing" for a small country like Cyprus to make such a move.

German newspaper Die Welt quoted Cypriot diplomats as saying that it would be impossible for Nicosia to accept the opening of EU talks with Ankara as long as it does not recognize one of the 25 member states. At the moment, Turkey refuses to recognize the Republic of Cyprus -- the Greek half of the divided island -- as a state.

For its part, Turkey requested that changes be made to the recently published report by the European Commission on opening EU negotiations with Ankara. According to a government spokesperson, Turkey objected both to the open end negotiations clause, which would allow the Commission to pull the breaks on accession at any time and to the suggestion of restrictions on the freedom of movement for workers. (EUobserver.com)

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