Cyprus denies Turkish claims over EU membership talks


Cyprus has denied claims by Turkey’s EU minister that five chapters, currently blocked by Nicosia, in his country's long-stalled EU membership bid would be opened in the second half of 2016.

“The claims do not merit a comment,” government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides told Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (RIK) late Sunday.

In an earlier interview with Haberturk newspaper, Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir said that Turkey had agreed to the opening of Chapter 33 for EU membership, while withdrawing an earlier demand to unfreeze five other chapters.

Bozkir said he expected the five frozen chapters to be opened in the second half of 2016.