Turkey blocks NATO-EU cooperation

Nov. 8, 2008 at 1:50 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Turkey's refusal to work with Cyprus is hampering efforts for cooperation between the European Union and NATO, diplomats say.

Most recently, the Turkish government rejected EU proposals for informal cooperation, Hurriyet reported.

"We are at a dead end," Gerard Araud, the political director of the French Foreign Ministry, said Thursday during a visit to Ankara.

Turkey is a member of NATO and has applied for membership in the European Union. Cyprus is in the EU, but Turkey has blocked its inclusion in NATO.

"In return for a step taken by Turkey in NATO, a counter-step would be taken by the EU. But for Turkey, giving something to Cyprus would mean recognition of Cyprus," Araud said. "Practically, Cyprus needs to make a security agreement with NATO in order to establish ties with the alliance, which is being blocked by Turkey."

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