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    A step backwards for Northern Cyprus as EU shelves "direct trade"

    Hürriyet Haber
    28.02.2006 - 09:41 | Son Güncelleme:

    The European Union has decided for now to shelve efforts to break isolationary measures against Northern Cyprus, authorizing instead only financial aid for the island. In a meeting of EU foreign ministers yesterday, it was decided to separate the proposal for the lifting of isolationary embargos, which would have come from the measure proposing "direct trade" possibilities with Northern Cyprus, from the proposal for financial help.

    The foreign ministers meeting yesterday also approved only 139 million Euro worth of aid for Northern Cyprus, and noted that they were leaving the question of "direct trade" up to the incentive of the Greek Cypriot authority. The results from this meeting are perceived by Ankara as being a definitive step backwards from the decision made last April by EU foreign ministers to break Northern Cypriot isolation.
     
    Speaking after meeting, EU Commissioner for Expansion, Olli Rehn, characterized the committee's decision as being "the first step" towards the eventual breakage of the isolation Northern Cyprus currently experiences. Rehn noted that he would continue personal efforts to "encourage" the EU ministers on this front.
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