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    Lift off hour for October 3 plane hangs in the balance; Ankara awaits word from Brussels

    Hürriyet Haber
    29 Eylül 2005 - 10:38Son Güncelleme : 29 Eylül 2005 - 10:38


    Last minute changes to the EU accession talks Framework Document may be responsible for Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and his delegation deciding to stay in Ankara rather than leave for Luxembourg for the start of the October 3 meetings. The private plane meant to lift off on October 2 for Luxembourg will wait instead on the runway at Ankara's Esenboga Airport for word coming out of Brussels. According to sources at the Foreign Ministry in Ankara, "If the Turkish delegation interprets the document 'positively,' the plane will take off. But if the document is laden with requirements to the detriment of Turkey, the motors will not be started."

    Currently, EU member Austria is reportedly making great efforts to have the "privileged partner" status included in the Framework Document as a formula for membership alternative. Foreign Ministry spokeperson Namik Tan has signalled that entrance of the "privileged partner" option, or the requirement that Turkey immediately open its air and sea ports to southern Cyprus into the document's body will mean that the delegation will not be attending the October 3 talks. Tan echoed a call from the Foreign Ministry for full explanation and revelation of the inner workings of the Framework Document from the EU in advance of the Turkish delegation's acceptance and pursuit of the upcoming talks.
     
    Tan also confirmed a telephone call between FM Gul and his British counterpart Jack Straw, affirming that the Turkish FM had warned Straw that the Turkish delegation would not be attending talks in Luxembourg if the EU continued to pile on what are perceived in Ankara to be last minute and unfair requirements for Turkey.
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