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Greece says Turkey must meet obligations in EU course
2005-09-12 17:07:55

Nicosia, Sep 12 (CNA) - Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has stressed that a country cannot expect to open accession negotiations with the European Union and at the same time not meet its fundamental obligations, noting that ''this is a position of principle which we will not forego.''

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, on the occasion of the Salonica International Fair, Karamanlis said ''it is necessary that Turkey fully respects the commitments it has undertaken towards the EU and one of these commitments is the signing of the protocol'' extending its customs union to the ten new EU member states.

Karamanlis said the Greek government was in favour of Turkey's EU course but pointed out that this support was ''neither blind nor without preconditions.''

The Greek Prime Minister noted that ''unfortunately Turkey accompanied the signing of the protocol with a unilateral statement that causes problems,'' adding that the EU ''must clarify the matter.''

Ankara's statement said the signing of the protocol did not mean the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus.

Asked if the Cyprus question was a problem in Greco-Turkish relations, Karamanlis said ''our aim is the total normalisation of Greco-Turkish relations and, among others, we support the European course of our neighbouring country,'' noting however that there were still ''some matters or principle.''

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