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Cyprus Spokesman: Turkey had no right to make declaration
2005-08-10 15:04:42

Nicosia, Aug 10 (CNA) – The Cyprus government has said that the European Council decision of last December regarding the signing by Turkey of the protocol extending its customs union with the ten new member states, did not give her the right to issue a declaration announcing that it does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus.

Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said today that the official and clear stance of the government on the protocol and Turkey’s declaration will be expressed during the General Affairs Council in September, in the light of the continued statements made by European officials that Turkey must recognise the Republic of Cyprus.

Commenting on statements made by Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn that the Commission believes Turkey has fulfilled its obligations to begin accession negotiations, the Spokesman replied that Rehn "disregards the fact that Turkey had no right to make a declaration during the signing of the protocol for the customs union”.

Chrysostomides reiterated that the government’s position regarding the protocol’s signing is the first step in normalizing relations between candidate and EU member states and especially Turkey and Cyprus, with whatever that entails.

"We have never said that the signing of the protocol implies immediate and diplomatic recognition of the Republic of Cyprus. However, what comes out of Mr. Rehn’s statements is that the obligation to recognise the member states and the candidate states is an obligation derived from the EU member state’s capacity. That is how we interpret the 17th December decision”, the Spokesman noted.

Chrysostomides said that a decision to convene the National Council will be taken around the end of August or beginning of September.

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