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Cyprus government regrets deeply the unilateral declaration by Turkey
2005-08-01 16:44:50

Nicosia, Jul 30 (CNA) - The Government of the Republic of Cyprus has expressed ''deep regret'' over the issue by Turkey of a unilateral declaration on Cyprus, at the time of its signature of the adaptation protocol to the Ankara Agreement of 1963, extending its customs union with the EU to the ten new member states, including the Cyprus Republic.

Cyprus Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides in a written statement said the content of the Turkish declaration, stating that Ankara does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus, would be examined thoroughly, in order to assess ''especially whether it puts into question the validity of the signature of the Protocol itself.''

The Government, he added, would then officially present its position to the Council of the European Union, ''which is expected to react accordingly, establishing, inter alia, whether the specific precondition set by the European Council in December 2004 for the opening of accession negotiations has been properly fulfilled.''

The spokesman said it was ''regrettable, nevertheless, that a candidate for accession declares that it does not recognise one of the member states of the Union it wishes to join.''

This institutional paradox, he underlined, cannot be sustained, especially in view of the expected opening of accession negotiations between Turkey and ''the Union of 25.''

Chrysostomides called on Turkey to abide by the principles upon which the EU is founded and to embark on a process of speedy normalization of its relations with the Republic of Cyprus, ''in line with the principle of equal treatment of all member states of the Union.''

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