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MacShane: Unthinkable for Turkey to join EU without recognizing Cyprus
2005-04-15 13:54:59

Nicosia, Apr 15 (CNA) -- British Minister for Europe Dennis MacShane has said that it would be unthinkable and unworkable for Turkey to be admitted to the European Union without recognizing the Republic of Cyprus.

In a letter to MEP Theresa Villiers, MacShane repeated that the “UK’s government objective remains the reunification of Cyprus”.

Conservative Parliamentary candidate Villiers, reacting to MacShane’s letter said that if the protocol for the extension of the Customs Union between Turkey and the new EU member states is properly implemented, this would amount to recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey.

Villiers noted that giving Turkey a date to open negotiations is a huge concession and the one concession given in return would be the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus.

In his letter MacShane maintained that “both Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus have made clear that this signature does not constitute recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey”.

He said that this question is separate from, but parallel to, Turkey’s accession talks.

The Minister for Europe said Britain expects “that a process of normalization of relations between Turkey and Cyprus will occur during the negotiations”.

Furthermore he added “it would be unthinkable and unworkable for Turkey to be admitted to the Union without recognizing a fellow member state”, noting that this was stated by the British Foreign Secretary.

Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus' northern areas since 1974 when they invaded, does not recognise the government of the Republic.

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