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Spanish FM: Turkey should sign and implement Customs Union Protocol
2005-03-24 11:30:39

Nicosia, Mar 24 (CNA) -- In international relations, when a country signs an agreement it is obliged to implement it, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos stressed today, referring to Turkey's obligation to sign the Protocol extending its Customs Union with all new member states, including the Republic of Cyprus, before the 3rd of October.

''In international relations, you sign something to implement it. There is the political will of political leaders. If you sign an agreement in international diplomatic life, you sign to implement it'', Moratinos said here, after talks with his Cypriot counterpart George Iacovou.

Iacovou noted that in international practice you have to ratify an agreement that you sign.

''There is also the principle of good faith. The idea that you can sign but not ratify so that you can implement is totally outside any international practice'', he said.

The Spanish Foreign Minister was also received this morning by President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos. He also met with the President of the House of Representatives Demetris Christofias.

According to an official press release, Christofias and Moratinos discussed the latest developments in the Cyprus problem, the prospects for the resumption of the dialogue to solve the problem as well as the role the European Union can play within this framework.

Christofias conveyed an invitation to his Spanish counterpart Manuel Marin Gonzalez to visit Cyprus.

Regarding the Cyprus issue, Moratinos stressed after his meeting with Iacovou that Cyprus can count on Spain's good will and offices.

''We discussed the relations with Turkey, the way we have to go back to international legality and to support an effort (for solution). Cyprus can count on good will and offices of Spain in order to promote that'', he assured.

Regarding Spain's stance on the two regulations pending before the Council of Ministers (direct trade of Turkish Cypriots with EU and financial aid to Turkish Cypriots) Moratinos said that a consensus should be reached, adding that the sooner they are adopted, the better.

''We work in a very positive and constructive manner and hope that the two regulations can be approved and implemented. I hope that during the Luxembourg presidency we can reach an agreement. We have to get a unanimous report, that is the strength of the EU to have a single vote and position'', he said.

Moratinos added that during talks with Cyprus FM, Iacovou expressed readiness to work in a constructive and positive way.

''The sooner we implement any regulation the better, but we have to get it by consensus and we work in order to get the two regulations approved the soonest possible. But we will be ready to work in the spirit of the majority of the EU countries'', Moratinos noted.

The Spanish FM also invited President Papadopoulos and George Iacovou to attend a Summit in Barcelona to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of the implementation of the Euromediterranean Partnership.

He said that Cyprus will work with Spain for the preparation of the Summit, since ''Cyprus has always been a very important key actor in the Euromed process''.

Iacovou noted that Spain has always been a traditionally friendly country to Cyprus and contributed to the efforts of Cyprus to join the European Union.

''Spain continues to support us in the EU but also in the UN Security Council'', he said.

The Spanish Minister served in the past as EU's Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process. He was based in Cyprus.

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