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    PM Erdogan meets Barroso

    Hürriyet Haber
    11.03.2005 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is currently in Spanish capital Madrid to attend ''Democracy, Terrorism and Security Summit'', met European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso late on Thursday.   The meeting took place prior to the banquet hosted by Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in honor of participants of the summit.Fight against international terrorism, Turkey's EU membership process and the Cyprus issue were high on agenda of the Erdogan-Barroso meeting. During the meeting, Prime Minister Erdogan expressed his regret that a joint action plan could not be developed yet against global terrorism.     EU PROCESS    Prime Minister Erdogan expressed his concerns about allegations over a slowdown in Turkey's democratic reforms since December 17th when the EU  agreed to open membership talks with Turkey. ''These are baseless allegations. We have been maintaining our determination to become a member of the EU,'' he said. Barroso said that they were aware of Turkey's determination. Referring to attitude of Turkish police during Sunday's demonstration in Istanbul to mark the International Women's Day, Barroso said that it was pleasing to learn that the Turkish government launched an investigation into the event .     CYPRUS ISSUE    Barroso noted that they were aware of that the Cyprus issue should be taken up under the umbrella of the United Nations. Recalling that Turkish Cypriot people proved that they were in favor of a solution in the island by supporting UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's plan in the referendum on April 24th, Prime Minister Erdogan said, ''Turkish Cypriot people have still been suffering from isolation and embargoes. We believe that the EU will make a contribution to efforts to resolve the problem by lifting the blockade against the Turkish Cypriot people. We expect the EU to keep its promises. Turkey promised to sign the protocol (extending customs union to 10 new EU members). We will fulfil our promise and sign the document. However, as the EU officials said before, this will not mean that Turkey will recognize the Greek Cypriot Administration.''         OPENING OF ENTRY TALKS BETWEEN TURKEY AND EU    Turkey-EU Troika meeting in Ankara on March 7th was also brought onto agenda of the meeting. Barroso said that it was possible to start negotiations on October 3rd on several issues such as science and culture.
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