Cyprus satisfied with EU common position on Turkey
Nicosia, Apr 21 (CNA)-- Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iacovou expressed the satisfaction of the Cyprus government over the EU common position, which the EU Presidency will present to Ankara during the EU-Turkey Association Council on Tuesday, April 26.
Iacovou said that the common position agreed during today's meeting of the EU Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER), includes provisions for the normalization of Turkey's bilateral relations with the EU member-states, including the Republic of Cyprus, for the termination of the blockade that Turkey imposes on vessels under Cypriot flag, and for a Cyprus settlement in line with the values on which the EU has been constructed.
''My belief is that we have achieved a very satisfying text and what is important is that today's decision is an EU common position,'' Iacovou added.
The common position was reached today after long deliberations between the Permanent Representatives of EU member-states on a draft text submitted by Luxembourg, who holds the EU rotating Presidency.
''Some countries'', according to Iacovou had objections to the draft, which would lead to the postponement of the EU-Turkey Association Council because the EU member states would not have a common position.
As regards the Protocol expanding the Ankara Agreement (Customs Union) to cover all new EU member-states, including the Republic Cyprus, the EU calls on Turkey not only to sign it, but also to ratify and implement it.
The 25 EU members also stress the need for the normalisation of Turkey's bilateral relations with all member states, including the Republic of Cyprus.
''Basically, in some parts, this compromise is even better than the first draft (submitted by the Presidency of Luxembourg), which in good faith we had accepted,'' Iacovou said, explaining that the EU does not only mention the term ''normalization'' but refers to ''normalisation of bilateral relations with all member-states, including the Republic of Cyprus.''
Regarding the Cyprus problem, the EU says it looks forward to the Turkish continuous support for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, within the framework of the United Nations and in line with the values upon which the EU is based.
According to Iacovou, this provision consists an improvement of last June's European Council conclusions, in which the Union welcomed Turkey's support to the efforts of the UN Secretary-General for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Furthermore, the EU common position points out the need for Turkey to implement fully and quickly the European Court of Human Rights decisions and calls on Turkey to change its policy of obstructing Cyprus' participation in various international organisations.
It also calls Turkey to terminate its restrictions on vessels under Cypriot flag or on vessels coming from Cypriot ports that are not allowed to enter Turkish ports.
''The EU common position is very satisfying for the Republic of Cyprus,'' Iacovou noted.