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Turkey's FM to talk EU accession in Austria

Turkish Foreign Minister hold talks in Austria to discuss Ankara EU accession process

Wednesday 21 Mar 2012
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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will begin an official visit to Austria Thursday for talks focusing on Turkey's EU bid and Cyprus, his ministry said Wednesday.

During Davutoglu's visit, Turkish-Austrian bilateral relations, Turkey's EU accession process and Cyprus will be discussed, alongside a range of international issues, a statement from the ministry read.

The visit comes after a period of slow progress in Turkey's bid for full membership in the European Union, an aspiration Austria stands against, much like France and Germany.

Turkey's negotiation process with the EU bloc faces deadlock over its refusal to implement a customs union with the Greek part of Cyprus, a EU member since 2004.

Turkey has threatened to freeze relations with the EU when Cyprus, a divided Mediterranean island, takes over the rotating presidency of the 27-nation bloc in July 2012.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops occupied the northern third in response to a Greek-inspired coup in Nicosia aimed at union with Greece. Only Turkey recognises the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

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