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Turkey’s EU Bid Is ‘Stalled,’ Cyprus to Blame, Van Rompuy Says

Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Turkey’s bid to join the European Union is “stalled” and Cyprus is to blame, EU President Herman Van Rompuy said.

Cyprus, its northern part occupied by the Turkish army, has used its veto power as an EU member to freeze Turkey’s entry talks since mid-2010. The Cypriot government now holds the EU’s six-month rotating presidency, making progress before 2013 unlikely.

“Were it not for some challenges from one of the members of the European Union, Cyprus, we would have made more progress when it comes to Turkey,” Van Rompuy told a Brussels conference today. “I acknowledge that negotiations on enlargement are stalled for the time being because one of the members of the club has problems with the process.”

Since opening the entry negotiations in 2005, Turkey has completed talks in only one of 35 EU policy areas. Its failure to advance contrasts with Croatia, which started the process at the same time and is scheduled to join the bloc in July 2013.

“Intensive discussions are ongoing and I hope to visit Turkey to get that message across,” Van Rompuy said.

To contact the reporter on this story: James G. Neuger in Brussels at jneuger@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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