Cyprus satisfied with Turkey's EU negotiating framework
Nicosia, June 30 - The Cyprus government is satisfied with the draft negotiating framework for Turkey's European Union accession talks, agreed on Wednesday in Brussels.
Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said that the draft was in line with the European Council conclusions of 17 December 2004, which were confirmed by the Council on 17 June 2005. The draft, he added, was positive in that it gave further details on the negotiating framework.
The Spokesman also said that the government was directly interested in the demand for friendly relations with neighbouring countries, the clause that said Turkey's commitment to this must be clear, and the demand for steps to normalise its relations with all EU member states, including the Republic of Cyprus.
Asked if the Cyprus government would try to include other issues in Turkey's road map, Mr. Chrysostomides said that at this moment the process was at the stage of examination and policy-making.
In Brussels on Wednesday, Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said that the terms laid down for Turkey are very strict and the start of accession negotiations as well as their future progress would depend on meeting these terms, adding that the negotiations would be open-ended and could be suspended any time.
According to Mr. Rehn, Turkey has to meet two conditions for the talks to begin, namely to put into effect six bills relating to reforms in the country and to sign the protocol to its customs union agreement, extending it to all ten new EU members, including the Republic of Cyprus.
He also said he expects Ankara to sign the protocol in the coming weeks and called on Turkey to show a constructive approach to help find a reasonable solution and to normalise relations with Cyprus (which it does not recognise).