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Last Updated: Monday, 29 November, 2004, 13:41 GMT
EU summit to make Turkey demands
The European Commission has recommended opening talks
The European Union is expected to set out a series of tough conditions that Turkey may have to accept before starting membership talks.

A statement drafted for December's EU summit is said to contain a number of requirements, like recognising Cyprus.

The final wording of whether and when to start talks with Ankara is said to have been left blank until the summit.

The draft welcomes "decisive progress made by Turkey in its far reaching reform process," Reuters reported.

Reuters, which says it has seen a copy of the draft statement circulated by the Dutch EU presidency, said talks could not be concluded until the 25-member EU had agreed its post-2014 budget.

A spokeswoman for the Dutch EU presidency told the BBC she would not comment on the reported contents of draft conclusions ahead of the summit.

French division

The draft is said to include possible permanent restrictions on labour migration and to suggest that talks regarding Turkey's entry could be suspended if requested by at least a third of EU states.

The European Commission, which recommended starting membership talks, has proposed that only the EU executive would have the power to propose halting the discussions.

French support may be in doubt following the appointment of former finance minister Nicolas Sarkozy as leader of President Jacques Chirac's governing UMP party on Sunday.

Mr Sarkozy, expected to run as a presidential candidate in 2007 against Mr Chirac, reiterated his position on Turkey saying: "I want Turkey to be associated with Europe but not integrated into the European Union."

His stance is the opposite to Mr Chirac, who has shown support for Turkey's eventual EU membership.

Cyprus warning

In response to Mr Sarkozy's comments, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said he did not see any reason to speak negatively with regard to the outcome of the 16-17 December summit.

"The authoritative person in foreign policy matters is the French president, it is Chirac," he said. "I believe that it is unnecessary to have negative expectations."

But Cyprus has also warned Turkey that it must recognise the Greek Cypriot government if it wants support for its EU application.

Cyprus, which joined the EU last May, could veto Turkey's bid for membership.

Greece and the international community do not recognise the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) created when Turkey seized the area in 1974 after a short-lived Greek-inspired coup. Only Turkey recognises the TRNC.

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