No blank cheque to Turkey, says Cyprus Spokesman
Nicosia, Apr 22 (CNA) Cyprus believes that Turkey has a place in the European Union, Cypriot Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides has said, pointing out however that Ankara was not issued with a blank cheque when the EU decided to begin accession negotiations with Turkey, in October this year.
The spokesman called on Ankara to normalize its relations with Cyprus and thereby prove its good will to solve the Cyprus problem in line with EU values.
In an address to the Economist seminar here on ''The EU Constitution and Cyprus'', Chrysostomides said that ''despite its tumultuous relationship with Turkey, Cyprus believes that its northern neighbour does have a seat in the European bandwagon,'' adding this is the reason why Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos conceded to the commencement of EU-Turkey accession negotiations in 2005, during the December 17 EU Summit.
''But the 'cheque signed' by Cyprus President Papadopoulos on that historic day was by no means 'blank','' Chrysostomides stressed, noting that ''Turkey, like all other EU Candidates, is being judged and will continue to be judged by the standards of the EU's founding values, which Turkey's unlawful presence in Cyprus continues to violate.''
He added that ''Cyprus wishes to assist Turkey in realizing its European dream but it needs Turkey to help it deliver its assistance.''
''This is precisely why the Turkish government must, finally, set itself on the course to normal relations with Cyprus-something that implies the existence, in Ankara, of good will to solve the Cyprus problem consistently with none other than the EU's founding values,'', the Cypriot Spokesman noted.
Stressing that Papadopoulos and its government are committed to the goal of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federal solution of the Cyprus problem, Chrysostomides noted that ''this, however, cannot be just any solution.''
''It must be a solution conforming to the EU's founding values, it must encompass respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, values which are common to the member states in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality among women and men prevail,'' he concluded.