Cypriot President disappointed over EU summit draft conclusions
Nicosia, Dec 8 (CNA) - Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos has expressed to Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, who is currently presiding over the European Council, the disappointment of the Republic of Cyprus over references in the second draft conclusions of the EU summit, to be held later this month.
CNA has learned that during his meeting yesterday in Nicosia with Balkenende, President Papadopoulos raised the issue of normalising relations between Turkey and Cyprus.
According to sources, the Cypriot President reiterated the government's position that the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey emerges through the Copenhagen criteria, and presented the views of foreign law experts, who said the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey is connected to the Copenhagen criteria.
Balkenende told President Papadopoulos that he was aware of Nicosia's positions and the views of foreign law experts, and described the demands of the Cypriot government reasonable and fair.
Discussions during yesterday's meeting focused on Nicosia's positions to iron out its relations with Ankara.
The same sources said Balkenende told President Papadopoulos that the draft European Council conclusions did not necessarily have to contain a reference on Cyprus and that the adjustment of the Ankara Agreement, for the Turkey-EU Customs Union, in order to include all new member states, covers Cyprus.
President Papadopoulos said this reference was not enough and that the draft conclusions should contain a reference on smoothing out the relations between Ankara and Nicosia.
Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.