08 September, 2006
Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis addressed a message to Turkey from here on Thursday to meet the binding commitments it has undertaken towards the European Union, stressing that "the EU has its own logic and does not have the logic of an oriental bazaar."
Valinakis, who was received by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos at the Presidential Mansion in the evening, said that "for us, it is clear that Turkey has assumed binding commitments and it must meet them. The message to Turkey, therefore, is this. The EU has its own logic and does not have the logic of an oriental bazaar."
Referring to the issue of Cyprus, the Greek deputy foreign minister said that "our positions are known, that is, we want a viable, workable and just solution in the framework of European principles and values."
On the question of Turkey's accession negotiations, that was examined during the meeting at the Presidential Mansion together with the Cyprus issue, Valιnakis said "we have the report by the European Commission ahead of us which must assess Turkey's progress or lack of progress in its course towards the EU."
Valιnakis also said that his meeting with President Papadopoulos "falls within the framework of close cooperation existing between Athens and Nicosia, countries which are cooperating closely both on the Cyprus issue and on EU's enlargement."
Athens on Thursday acknowledged recent statements this week by EU Commissioner for enlargement Olli Rehn, who again called on candidate-state Turkey to fully extend a customs union with the Union to its 10 new members, including Cyprus. Rehn also referred to the unprecedented possibility of taking Turkey to the European Court for failing to fulfill its obligations.
"The only safe path for a smooth Turkish accession course is to implement its commitments to the EU," foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said, adding: "I do not understand how anyone would choose the cumbersome, dangerous and narrow path of non-compliance vis-à-vis EU principles and values," he said.
Koumoutsakos also reiterated that there is a common perception -- and not just as far as Athens is concerned -- that "reform fatigue" has gripped the Turkish government.
Asked about a date for a projected visit here by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, the spokesman said the exact date has not been set. Moreover, he said there was no new information concerning a possible visit by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to Ankara.
Source: Athens News Agency