Cyprus FM welcomes Turkey’s commitment to accept protocol
Nicosia, Mar 31 (CNA) – The Cyprus government has welcomed Turkey’s written commitment to accept the text of a protocol extending the Ankara Agreement to all ten new member states of the European Union, including the Republic of Cyprus.
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry notes that there is no longer any reason to delay the signing and ratification of the protocol on the part of Turkey, including lifting restrictions on Cyprus maritime and air transport.
In the statement, the Foreign Ministry “welcomes the written commitment on the part of Turkey to accept the text of the protocol extending the implementation of the Ankara Agreement to all EU member states, including the Republic of Cyprus, an act that denotes initialing” the protocol.
''Agreeing to the text means there is no longer any reason to delay the signing and ratification of the protocol on the part of Turkey, including lifting the restrictions on Cyprus maritime and air transport”.
“In any case, this is Turkey’s legal obligation based on its Association Agreement with the European Community, its Customs Union Agreeement with the EC, the obligations deriving from the Copenhagen criteria as well as the GATT agreement”, the statement concluded.
Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus' northern areas since they invaded in 1974, does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus and has said that its announcement that it will sign the protocol extending its customs union agreement to all ten new members, including Cyprus, does not signify recognition of the Republic.