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Foreign Minister attends informal EU meeting in South Wales
2005-09-01 12:16:08

Newport, Sep 1 – Cyprus’ Foreign Minister Mr George Iacovou is taking part in the two-day informal meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers in Newport.

The meeting, also known as Gymnich, is hosted by the British Foreign Secretary Mr. Jack Straw (see story above).

Earlier this week, an official statement regarding the discussion at the EU Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) on the issue of the European Union’s position regarding the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey said:

“A discussion began today (Tuesday) in Brussels, in the framework of COREPER, on the European Union’s position towards the unacceptable declaration made by Turkey when it signed the Protocol on the extension of its Customs Union, of the Ankara Agreement, with all EU member states.

Preliminary observations were made, the positions of the Legal Service of the Council were submitted and there was a common agreement that the European Union should make a counter statement regarding Turkey’s declaration.

The British Presidency, after an intermission for other reasons, undertook to present a draft declaration which was submitted this afternoon and in our view, apart from the positive elements that this draft contains, it is unacceptable and totally unsatisfactory.

Furthermore, Britain’s stance does not satisfy our side; it did not show the necessary impartiality and objectivity, on the contrary an effort was made to import elements of the British policy in the declaration. The draft declaration in its current form does not satisfy our side.

On the other hand I would like to stress that there was a positive climate in our favour at the meetings of COREPER today and that, in fact, our positions were supported by states which no one would expect they would show a firm support of our positions. Some states said that the counter statement of the European Union should be clear and some went further to say that there should be a powerful statement which would respond to the dignity of the European Union. Our side considers that the counter statement must be clearer and that it should respond to the dignity and the principles on which the European Union is based.

I would like to stress that the British Presidency has undertaken to present tomorrow at the European Union Foreign Ministers Informal Meeting in Newport, Wales, a new draft declaration which we hope will respond to the expectations of the European Union as a whole as well as those of the Republic of Cyprus.

If it is not satisfactory, then the European Union negotiating framework with Turkey will not be discussed and therefore the issue of the counter statement of the EU in relation to Turkey’s declaration should be resolved effectively before the start of a discussion on the negotiating framework.”

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