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Greece calls for Turkey-EU summit on accession

Greece calls for Turkey-EU summit on accession

The European Union should hold a summit with candidate Turkey to set out a new strategy for Ankara 's membership bid, said Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas on Monday. "I think this is really the time to have a frank discussion with all the member states and also with Turkey ," he said at a seminar at the European Policy Center in Brussels . "We have to make our minds up again within the European Union, what our expectations are concerning Turkey ." Only through sincerity and an open exchange of views can things get back on track, as the current situation is headed towards a deadlock which will benefit neither side, he added. "The time has come again for open and sincere words, and my personal view is that the best way is to renew commitments that we have already expressed in the past," he said. But Droutsas also said the Cyprus problem could continue to block Turkey 's EU path. " Turkey cannot become a member of the EU as long as there are occupation forces on the island," he said, referring to Turkish troops deployed in 1974 to protect the island's Turks from ethnic violence. Droutsas was noncommittal when asked about bilateral relations, saying that Athens and Ankara are trying to deepen cooperation in areas where there are shared interests in the hope doing so will help foster an atmosphere that can resolve deeper disputes. "This is the way we are going and this is the way we are trying," he said. "We have things that are more than worrying. … We have a country, Turkey , that is aspiring to become an EU member state. This candidate is threatening an EU member state with the casus belli, in the case that this member state will make use of a right it has according to international law … We have to see this very clearly. This is not compatible with European Union values."

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