Turkey says no comment on proposal to open port, airport to Cyprus

Iran Materials 7 December 2006 13:12 (UTC +04:00)

(AFP) - Turkey refused to comment on reports that it will open one sea port and one airport to Cyprus to resolve a trade row that is threatening to derail its accession talks with the European Union.

"Talks are still under way," a foreign ministry spokesman told AFP. "For the safety of the talks, we will not share details with the media at this stage."

A Finnish spokesman said Thursday in Brussels that Turkey had agreed to open one sea port and one airport to Cyprus, an EU member Ankara does not recognise.

Finland, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU until the end of the year, has been making efforts to resolve the crisis, but so far to no avail, reports Trend.

Turkey must open its ports to Cyprus under a customs union agreement with the bloc, but has refused to do so until the EU keeps its promise to ease the international isolation of the divided island's Turkish community.

Last week, the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, proposed a partial suspension of Turkey's membership talks, begun in October 2005, in retaliation for its refusal to extend the customs deal to Cyprus.