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Turkey: ‘Taking a Break’ From European Union Activities

The Turkish PM has announced that his country will stop participating in the EU’s activities as long as Cyprus resides over the European Council in 2012.

“We will have a six-month-long break, starting on July 1,” said Tayyip Erdogan at the press conference he organized in collaboration with the Finnish Prime Minister in Ankara.

“It would be impossible that Turkey and Cyprus sit around the same table; the latter is a state we do not recognize as official,” he said.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto stated that his government supports Turkish foreign policy. “Turkey plays an important intermediary role regarding Syria and Iran. We hope that the EU supports Ankara in the future,” the Finnish President told the media.

This decision by Turkey to temporarily stop negotiations and any other activities concerning the EU was the second “step” announced by the neighboring country of Cyprus. Some months ago, they also threatened the Europeans that they’d “freeze” their relations over the Cyprus Presidency.

Cypriots will undertake the Presidency of the European Council from July 1 until the end of the year. No official comment has been made by the Cypriot or the Greek governments as of yet.

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