09 December, 2006
The government on Friday stressed that the agreements signed by Turkey with the European Union required that it implement the additional customs union protocol without terms and conditions.
Responding to questions about a Turkish proposal to open one of its ports and airports to traffic from neighboring Cyprus, alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said that Greece was basing its response of official and binding EU documents.
Antonaros pointed out that Ankara had made a commitment to implement the additional protocol without terms and conditions in December 2004 and then once again on December 21, 2005 when the EU said it expected Turkey to implement the Ankara Agreement and lift obstacles to the free movement of goods.
EU texts also state that the EU will assess Turkey's stance in 2006, Antonaros said, while reiterating that the European Commission's proposal to freeze eight of the 35 chapters of the accession talks was considered a basis for negotiations by Athens.
PM has phone discussion with Turkish counterpart:
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis had a brief telephone discussion on Friday with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayip Erdogan, held at the Turkish premier's initiative.
During the 10-minute conversation, Erdogan outlined the Turkish positions on his country's EU course, while Karamanlis outlined Greece's positions, which are summarized in the principle that "Greece supports Turkey's European course, but the neighboring country must fulfill the obligations it has undertaken towards the European Union", an announcement said.
Papandreou on Turkey and Cyprus:
Main opposition PASOK party leader and Socialist International President George Papandreou on Friday sent a clear message to Ankara from the podium of the Party of European Socialists congress held in Porto, Portugal, stressing that Turkey must meet its obligations toward the European Union.
Papandreou, referring to Cyprus, underlined the fact that Turkey is not simply an occupation force in the north part of the island but an occupation force on EU territory, stressing that this is unacceptable.
“Nobody in the world can believe that Cyprus constitutes a military threat for Turkey”, the Socialist International president pointed out and called for the withdrawal of the occupation troops, reiterating his proposal for the demilitarization of the island.
These steps will promote dialogue for a lasting and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, he added.
Source: Athens News Agency