Trade talks have broken down between the European Union and Turkey in a row that could lead to the suspension of accession talks. The dispute centres on Turkey’s refusal to lift an embargo on imports from EU member Cyprus. Finland as holders of the Union’s rotating Presidency issued an ultimatum to Turkey to start accepting the goods by December 6 or face a suspension of the accession talks. Ankara has said it will not accept Cypriot goods until the European Union lifts its embargo on trade with northern Cyprus – the pro-Turkish state that’s not recognised by the international community.
Turkey sees the negotiation as an opportunity to release Northern Turkey from its international isolation. Finnish foreign minister Erkki Tuomioja announced the breakdown of the negotiations ahead of a meeting of his EU counterparts in Tampere.