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EU, Turkey resume talks after 3 ½-year hiatus

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November 5, 2013 08:12 AM EST | AP


BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is resuming membership talks with Turkey after they were stalled for 3 ½ years, mainly because of the country's ongoing dispute with Cyprus.

Turkey's minister for European Union affairs, Egemen Bagis, hailed Tuesday's opening of negotiations in Brussels, but signaled much work still needs to be done. Bagis says: "You cannot have the spring with only one flower."

EU nations delayed the negotiations this summer to protest Turkey's crackdown on street protests.

The new talks focus on regional policy — one of many outstanding issues to be settled before Turkey could join the 28-nation bloc.

The EU opened negotiations with Turkey in 2005, despite skepticism among some member states about a big Muslim nation joining the predominantly Christian bloc.