01 September, 2005
BRUSSELS 1/9/2005 (ANA/M. Spinthourakis)
The European Union will reply to an announcement made by Turkey and by which it does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, when it signed the EU's protocol on customs union extension to its new member-states a month ago.
The reply will ascertain, among other points, that Turkey's announcement does not produce legal results and that the EU expects Ankara to respond to all the commitments it assumed on signing the protocol.
This conclusion was reached during the discussion held on the issue here on Wednesday, during the first session of the Permanent Representatives Committee following the summer recess.
The discussion will be continued at the level of foreign ministers, who will be holding their regular informal six-month conference in Newport, Wales, on Thursday and Friday.
The British presidency, according to a commitment made on Wednesday, will be presenting a new draft announcement during the discussion which the Council will be called on to adopt.
It was made clear during Wednesday's session of the Permanent Representatives Committee that the 25 member-states believe that Turkey cannot insist for a long time on the position that it will be negotiating with a member-state that it does not recognize.
According to well-informed sources, the Council's legal service, in a report presented to the Permanent Representatives Commit-tee on Wednesday, clearly states that at the outset of accession negotiations Turkey will enter a process which will lead it to the de facto recognition of Cyprus.
Shortly after the British presidency's draft announcement on Cyprus was presented to the national delegations, Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis communicated by phone with his British counterpart Jack Straw as well as with Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos.
The foreign minister will also be meeting Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul on Thursday.
Foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos, speaking shortly before leaving for Wales, said that "the Turkish statement has created a series of problems which must be replied to by the EU so that no vague points are left."
Source: Athens News Agency