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Cypriot government aware of content of Turkey's protocol
2005-03-28 11:54:46

Nicosia, Mar 28 (CNA) -- Cypriot Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said today that the government is aware, and has been for a few days now, of the content of the protocol extending Turkey's customs union to the ten new EU member-states, including Cyprus, which the European Commission has sent to Ankara with a note that it must be signed before October 3, 2005, when Turkey is set to commence negotiations for accession to the EU.

Replying to questions, Chrysostomides said the final text ''contains nothing negative regarding our position,'' noting that Athens and Nicosia were in agreement regarding the protocol.

Chrysostomides said there was no mention of Turkey's ports or airspace in the protocol, noting that these issues were covered by the 1963 Treaty on free trade and the movement of persons and goods.

He added that the protocol did not contain any statement on behalf of Ankara that it did not recognise the Republic of Cyprus.

The Spokesman noted that was mattered was the signing and implementation of the protocol by the state that was bound by its representative signing the treaty.

''If this protocol the Turkish government is about to sign is not ratified by the Turkish National Council, then of course Turkey cannot proceed to the EU,'' he added.

Regarding the meetings Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Petros Molyviatis is having in the US, Chrysostomides said Molyviatis would be briefing Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos on his contacts and that the positions the Greek Minister was conveying to the US coincided with those of Cyprus.

The Spokesman assured that Athens and Nicosia continued their cooperation and were in full agreement.

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