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Cyprus Spokesman: Ankara's non recognition policy ''unreasonable''
2004-12-03 10:03:05

Nicosia, Dec 3 (CNA) -- The government has described as ''unreasonable'' Turkey's position that it will not recognize the Republic of Cyprus before a political settlement on the island.

Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides wondered how Turkey can be seeking a valid vote from all 25 member states of the European Union for the start of accession negotiations, including Cyprus, since it does not recognize the Republic.

The EU Council will decide at its summit later this month whether or not to start membership talks with Turkey, as recommended by the Commission. This decision needs a positive vote from all EU leaders.

The Cyprus government has been pointing out to its EU partners that Ankara has an obligation to the Union as well as to Cyprus to recognize the Republic.

''How can a vote from Cyprus be considered valid on December 17 (at the Council meeting) when Turkey does not recognize the significance and the value of this vote through the non recognition of the Republic,'' Chrysostomides said.

This is a paradox, he said, adding that all EU members acknowledge that it must be settled.

Responding to questions, he said Turkey will have to comply with the criteria set out by the EU and added that every EU presidency seeks to secure agreement on the final conclusions of Council meetings prior to discussions among EU leaders, who have the final say on agenda items.

He said Cyprus finds ''understanding'' among EU partners with regard to its positions, as these are outlined by President Tassos Papadopoulos and members of his government.

Asked if Europe shows the same understanding for Ankara's demands, he referred to a draft resolution before the European Parliament saying that the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus is an issue that needs to be taken into consideration and that the start of accession negotiations with Ankara signifies recognition of Cyprus by Turkey.

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