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Turkish FM Threatens Boycott of EU Meeting

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul says he will not attend a European Union meeting Monday on EU accession, unless the 25-member bloc first resolves the latest dispute over the divided island of Cyprus.

Turkey was hoping to meet the first of 35 policy requirements for EU entry at the meeting in Luxembourg. The talks are scheduled to focus on science and technology.

But Cyprus -- already an EU member -- said Friday it would block the opening round of entry talks, unless Ankara first honors a deal allowing Greek Cypriot ships and planes to use Turkish ports and airports.

For its part, Turkey does not recognize the Greek-Cypriot government in Nicosia. And Ankara has linked opening its ports and airports to the end of international isolation of the Turkish-Cypriot government in northern Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey occupied the northern third of the island after an Athens-backed Greek Cypriot coup aimed at uniting the Island with Greece.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.