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Cyprus says Turkey has many Copenhagen criteria obligations
2004-11-29 10:13:52

Nicosia, Nov 25 (CNA) - Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs George Iacovou said today that Turkey has many legal obligations deriving from the Copenhagen criteria, and Cyprus' positions have been argued at the EU Council of Ministers on October 11, adding that among these positions is the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey.

In comments to CNA on foreign press reports about his statements in Berlin after a meeting with his German counterpart Yoschka Fischer, Iacovou said a reporter asked if the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus was a precondition for the commencement of Turkey's EU accession negotiations and if Germany would show understanding in case Cyprus refused to negotiate with a country that did not recognise her.

Iacovou said Fischer answered the question, saying that it is obvious that the negotiations are carried out by all 25 EU member states.

The reply was considered satisfactory and Iacovou made a general comment, saying that ''we must not necessarily speak about a crisis but a constructive utilisation of the situation provided to the benefit of all.''

''We see the opportunity for a win-win situation,'' Iacovou said, explaining that in this case Turkey could obtain a date to start accession negotiations and Cyprus would get, with the help of its partners, whatever is necessary to carry out its duties and obligations as an EU member, especially as regards the examining of Turkey's EU course and future negotiations.

''Turkey has many legal obligations, deriving from the Copenhagen criteria. Our positions were expressed to the Council of Ministers on October 11 and were solidly argued as parametres of the political criteria of Copenhagen,'' he added, noting that these positions include the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey.

The meeting with Fischer was held in a very amiable atmosphere and the German Minister showed understanding towards the Cypriot positions.

The two Ministers discussed Turkey's EU course in view of the December 17 European Council, mutual interest matters, such as the elections in Ukraine and the Middle East peace process, bilateral relations and EU issues.

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