21 September, 2005
The European Union's counter-statement in response to Turkey's refusal to recognize EU member Cyprus will most likely be approved on Wednesday, Greek diplomatic sources here said.
The Union's response, negotiated during an emergency meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) held in Brussels on Tuesday, was described as "exceptionally satisfactory" by Greek diplomatic sources.
The key points in the statement which Greek diplomats cited as being satisfactory include the EU's rejection of Turkey's unilateral declaration that it does not recognize Cyprus; Turkey is clearly required to fully implement the extended customs union agreement with all 10, new member states, including Cyprus; and that Turkey's failure to fulfill its obligations in regards to the customs union agreement will negatively affect accession talks.
The complete text of the EU's response follows:
1. 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.
2. The European Community and its Member States make clear that this declaration by Turkey is unilateral, does not form part of the Protocol and has no legal effect on Turkey's obligations under the Protocol.
3. The European Community and its Member States expect full, non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol and the removal of all obstacles IN the free movement of goods, including restrictions on means of transport. Turkey must apply this Protocol fully to all EU Member States. The EU will monitor this closely and evaluate full implementation in 2006. The European Community and its Member States stress that the opening of negotiations on the relevant chapters depends on Turkey's implementation of its contractual obligations to all Member States. Failure to implement its obligations in full will affect the overall progress in the negotiations.
4. 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 only the Republic of Cyprus as a subject of international law.
5. Recognition of all Member States is a necessary component of the accession process. Accordingly, the EU underlines the importance it attaches to the normalization of relations between Turkey and all EU Member States, as soon as possible.
6. The Council will ensure a follow-up on the progress made on all these issues in 2006.
7. In the context of this declaration, the European Community and its Member States agree on the importance of supporting the efforts of the UN Secretary General to bring about a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem in line with relevant UNSCRs and the principles on which the EU is founded, and that a just and lasting settlement will contribute to peace, stability and harmonious relations in the region.
Source: Athens News Agency