14 September, 2005
The European Union's Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) will be examining on Wednesday the Union's response to Turkey's unilateral declaration that it refuses to recognize the Cyprus Republic, an EU member state.
The draft counter-statement, of which the ANA obtained a copy, reads as follows:
"The European Community and its Member States acknowledge the signature by Turkey of the Additional Protocol to the Agreement establishing an Association between the European Community and its Member States on the one part and Turkey on the other, in accordance with the conclusions of the European Council of December 2004. They regret that Turkey felt it necessary to make a declaration regarding the Republic of Cyprus at the time of signature.
The European Community and its Member States make clear that this declaration is unilateral, does not form part of the Protocol and has no legal effect on Turkey's obligations.
The European Community and its Member States expect full, non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol, and the removal of all obstacles to the free movement of goods, including restrictions on means of transport. Turkey must apply the Protocol fully to all EU Member States. The EU will evaluate full implementation in 2006. The European Community and its Member States note that, as long as Turkey has not implemented its contractual obligations with the EU, negotiations on the relevant chapters cannot be opened.
The European Community and its Member States recall that the Republic of Cyprus became a Member State of the European Union on 1st May 2004. They underline that they recognize the Republic of Cyprus, only, as a subject of international law.
Prior recognition of all Member States is a necessary component of accession.
Accordingly, the EU underlines the importance it attaches to the normalization of relations between Turkey and all EU Member States, as soon as possible.
In that context, the European Community and its Member States agree on the need to support the efforts of the UN Secretary General to bring about a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, and that a just and lasting settlement will contribute to peace, stability and harmonious relations in the region.
The Council will ensure a follow-up on the progress made on all these issues in 2006."
On July 29, Turkey signed the Association Agreement Protocol -- by virtue of which Turkey extended its customs union agreement with the EU to the 10 new member states, including Cyprus. It submitted a separate declaration stating that it refused to recognize the Cyprus Republic and that its ports and airports would remain closed to Cypriot ships and planes.
Source: Athens News Agency