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Germany

Schröder: No Delay in Turkey EU Talks

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder told Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, who was in Berlin on Monday, that EU membership negotiations with Turkey would begin on Oct. 3, 2005 as scheduled. The date had been put into some doubt after Martin Schulz, a Social Democratic representative in the European Parliament, had questioned whether enough progress had been made in Turkey for negotiations to begin later this year. Schulz told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper that Turkey still needed to enact further reforms and recognize Cyprus before accession talks could begin. But Schröder defended the Oct. 3 date, saying he was confident that Ankara would meet all of the EU's requirements by then. Karamanlis said that Athens considers it imperative that Turkey sign a protocol expanding the EU customs union to 10 new member states, including Cyprus. Ankara had given assurances earlier this month that it would do so. Turkey has been an associate member of the EU since 1963 and an official candidate since 1999.

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