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Spokesman says Turkey must meet its obligations to EU
2004-12-21 11:27:51

Nicosia, Dec 21 (CNA) -- Cyprus has no intention of facilitating Turkey in any attempt to avoid meeting the specific commitments the European Union has laid down for Ankara, Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said here today.

He also said that Nicosia would insist on Turkey complying with its obligations towards the EU, including Cyprus.

On the question of Cyprus, the Spokesman pointed out that the start of accession negotiations between the EU and Turkey is a different thing from the effort to settle the island's political problem.

''The EU, its member states, including the Republic of Cyprus, are the masters of timeframes (set by the Union). We shall not facilitate Turkey in any attempt to avoid the concrete commitments it has undertaken towards the EU and Cyprus,'' Chrysostomides said.

Responding to questions, he said Nicosia wants the protocol to adapt the Ankara Agreement (customs union agreement) to be signed as soon as possible and long before 3 October, a date set by the EU to begin membership talks with Turkey provided the protocol is signed by that date.

He said the Greek Cypriot side is acting in a way that would create those necessary conditions that would allow negotiations to start for a final settlement whereas Ankara is trying to connect this will its European obligations, as these were decided at last week's summit in Brussels.

The Spokesman said Turkey has ''many obligations'' to meet emanating from the Brussels summit conclusions and explained that signing the customs union agreement would mean full development of trade and economic relations with EU members, something he said would lead to normalising ties between Nicosia and Ankara.

Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus' northern areas for the past 30 years, does not recognise the Republic and said it would not before a political settlement is achieved.

On the political front, the Spokesman said that attempts for a settlement through the UN are expected to be facilitated by developments within the EU and to act as a catalyst in that they will create new decisive conditions based on European principles, which Turkey can no longer deny.

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