02 September, 2005
A Greek foreign ministry spokesman on Thursday reminded that an under-consideration "counter-statement" by the EU's 25 foreign ministers must clearly condemn Turkey's standing refusal to recognize a European Union member-state, in this case Cyprus.
Foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos made the statements from Newport, Wales, where a council of the Union's foreign ministers was due to convene.
Koumoutsakos also echoed Greek leadership's position that Ankara's unilateral statement in July - attached to a customs union extension protocol with the EU - reiterating that it doesn't recognize EU member Cyprus "fails to produce legal results".
He also said the EU's response should make it clear that the protocol must be fully implemented.
Koumoutsakos' statements came during a radio interview with the state-owned NET network.
An initial document tabled by the British EU presidency a day earlier at a COREPER meeting was not accepted by the Greek side, with Athens requesting an unambiguous response to the July gambit by Ankara.
Finally, Koumoutsakos said Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis was due to meet with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul either late Thursday evening in the Welch resort or on Friday, depending on the Turkish minister's arrival.
Meanwhile, in a related development from Brussels, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht was quoted by the Belgian daily "La Libre Belgique" as saying that "... it would be difficult for me to imagine, and I believe Turkish leaders are thinking the same thing, that accession (of Turkey) can take place without Cyprus' recognition. However, it is not correct to say that this recognition comprised a prerequisite for the commencement of negotiations," an ANA dispatch from Brussels reported.
Source: Athens News Agency