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Spokesman says Turkey obliged to recognise Cyprus
2005-08-03 17:01:25

Nicosia, Aug 3 (CNA) - Cypriot Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides has said that the government was expecting Turkey to unreservedly sign the Ankara Agreement, stressing that its qualms revert the substance of the international agreement that the country has signed.

Invited to comment on statements made yesterday by Commission Spokesman Amadeu Altafaj that the recognition of Cyprus follows a ''parallel procedure'' with Turkey's accession negotiations, however ''in another framework, that of the UN,'' Chrysostomides said a serious misunderstanding has occurred.

Chrysostomides noted that ''the Republic of Cyprus is recognised by all EU member states, apart from Turkey,'' a candidate.

''It is also recognised by all UN members and the UN itself. I do not understand what is being implied. If it is implied that through the UN there will be a solution to the Cyprus problem, we totally agree. However, let us not confuse the solution with recognition,'' he added.

To a remark that President Tassos Papadopoulos had stated on 17 December 2004 that Cyprus has the right to veto Turkey's accession negotiations if it does not sign or implement the protocol extending its customs union agreement with the EU to all new EU member states, including Cyprus, Chrysostomides said ''Cyprus' positions have not changed.''

''For us it is self-evident that Turkey has an obligation to recognise all EU member states it will collectively negotiate with during its accession talks with the EU,'' he said.

''What was expected was the unreserved signing of the protocol on the part of Turkey, without any reservations that reverse the substance of the international agreement which Turkey had signed and the implementation of the customs union agreement to all 10 member states, including Cyprus,'' he noted.

The Cypriot Spokesman said that final decisions would be taken by the Council after a possible COREPER meeting before early September, where unanimity is required.

On 29th July, Turkey signed the adaptation protocol to the Ankara Agreement of 1963, extending its customs union with the EU to the ten new member states, including the Republic of Cyprus. However, at the time of the signature, Turkey issued a declaration, stating that Ankara does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island's northern third.

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