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Cyprus FM: Turkey to recognise Cyprus in order to join EU
2005-03-08 14:03:24

Nicosia, Mar 8 (CNA) -- Turkey will not be able to become a full European Union member-state if it does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus, Cyprus Foreign Minister George Iacovou has stated.

''It is totally impossible for Turkey to accede the Union without recognising the Republic of Cyprus. This is not only stressed by British Minister for Europe Dennis MacShane'', Iacovou said, commenting on MacShane's statements that if Turkey wishes to enter the EU, then it is not normal not to have relations with a member- state.

''MacShane makes a step further and speaks about the pre-accession period. Now Turkey is obliged to sign the protocol of adaptation that is foreseen in the Ankara Agreement. I believe that Turkey is encouraged, maybe even pressured, to sign it soon'', he said.

Iacovou noted that MacShane expressed similar views during his recent visit to Cyprus.

The Cypriot minister was referring to Turkey's obligation to sign the protocol extending its customs union with the ten new EU member-states, including the Republic of Cyprus.

Turkey, whose troops occupy 37 per cent of Cyprus' territory since 1974, is the only country in the world which does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus.

Regarding the recent meetings of a four-member US delegation, headed by Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Laura Kennedy, had in New York, Iacovou said that the delegation exchanged views with the UN Secretariat for UNSG Kofi Annan's next steps on Cyprus.

He expressed the view that until there is a new Turkish Cypriot leader in occupied Cyprus at April's so-called presidential elections, there would be no initiatives regarding Cyprus.

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