MacShane: Unthinkable two EU member states not recognising each other
London, Jan 12 (CNA) -- British Minister for Europe Dennis MacShane has said that a situation in which there are two member states of the EU who do not recognise each other is unthinkable.
MacShane made this statement in writing on Tuesday when asked by Labour MP Tom Cox whether Turkey will be required officially to recognise the existence of the Republic of Cyprus before it is granted membership of the European Union.
The British minister said “as accession negotiations with Turkey progress, we expect that relations between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus will undergo a gradual process of normalisation. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and I have made it clear that a situation in which there are two member states of the EU who do not recognise each other is unthinkable”.
The December 2004 Brussels European Council decided to give Turkey 3rd of October 2005 as a date to begin accession negotiations with the EU provided it signed the protocol expanding its customs union with all EU members, including the Republic of Cyprus.
Turkey is the only country in the world which recognises the illegal state unilaterally established in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkish troops since 1974, in violation of UN resolutions which branded it "legally invalid".
In 1974 Turkey stopped recognising the Republic of Cyprus, a member of the United Nations since its independence in 1960.