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COREPER fails to agree on counterstatement, talks continue
2005-09-19 16:06:48

by Nicos Bellos

Brussels, Sep 19 (CNA) – Today’s extraordinary meeting of the EU Permanent Representatives in Brussels (COREPER) failed yet again to agree on a EU counterstatement to Turkey’s unilateral declaration that it does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus.

However, negotiations continue between the permanent representatives of Britain and Cyprus and if they do not conclude this evening, they will resume on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the British presidency said that “important progress” has been achieved during today’s meeting, adding that the sides are close to a final deal. He did not rule out an agreement even this evening.

The new British Presidency draft contained a change in paragraph 5 of the counterstatement, which referred to the issue of recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey. The new document notes, “the recognition of all member states is a necessary component of the accession procedure. Therefore the EU recognizes the importance it attaches to the normalisation of relations between Turkey and all EU Member States, as soon as possible.''

The previous draft had noted that the recognition of all member states was a necessary component of Turkey’s accession.

Greece and Cyprus had asked from the first moment a change of the wording on recognition. They were asking for a disassociation of recognition from accession and many EU countries supported this position advocated by Nicosia and Athens.

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