04 October, 2007
The European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee ratified a report by Dutch European People's Party Eurodeputy Ria Oomen-Ruijten on Wednesday, concerning Turkey's accession course, with 45 votes to zero and four abstentions.
The Eurodeputies stress in the report that following recent elections in Turkey and awaiting the progress report by the European Commission, they support the country's European course and reforms that are necessary to enable its accession to the European Unoon, with the parallel fulfilment of its commitments.
Moreover, the report once again underlines Turkey's obligation to fully implement the Customs Protocol with all EU member-states and to honour religious freedoms in the country. The Eurodeputies also expressed concern over the decision recently taken by the Turkish Supreme Annulment Court against the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The Foreign Affairs Committee also adopted amendments by PASOK Eurodeputies Stavros Lambrinidis and Panayiotis Beglitis, with which the Eurodeputies call on Turkey to pull out Turkish occupation troops from Cyprus before a solution to the political problem is found, stressing that this constitutes a precondition for facilitating negotiations to find a mutually acceptable solution.
They also call on the candidate country to commit itself on relations of good neighbourliness and on a peaceful solution to differences that are pending with neighbouring countries, in accordance with the UN Charter and the principles of international law.
The report is expected to be adopted by the European Parliament plenum in October.
Source: Athens News Agency