European Parliament wants Turkey to implement protocol
Nicosia, Sep 22 -- European Parliament Dutch rapporteur on Turkey Camiel Eurlings has said that Turkey must fully implement the Ankara Agreement protocol as soon as possible, not at some very late date in the accession negotiations with Turkey.
Mr. Eurlings, who is in Cyprus in the framework of preparing a report on the protocol extending Turkey's customs union with the EU to the 10 new member states, expressed the regret of the European Popular Party regarding Turkey's declaration that it does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus and described the implementation of the protocol with all member states as of ''utmost importance,'' because ''we say it doesn't only touch Cyprus with Turkey, but it touches the credibility of the EU as such.''
Speaking after a meeting in Nicosia with Minister of Foreign Affairs George Iacovou, Mr. Eurlings said that the EU and the UN should both exert pressure for a Cyprus settlement.
''For us is very important that when you sign a protocol you also implement it. That is why we do not accept the position of the Turkish government that not allowing vessels carrying a Cypriot flag into the Turkish ports, not granting over-flight rights for Cypriot airplanes that is a vision that would not be necessary that is not accepted by the European Commission, that is not accepted by the European Parliament,'' he said.
Mr. Eurlings also noted that ''we will have to give our consent on the Ankara Protocol and we want to know before we vote next week that the declaration is not a formal part of the protocol ratification, because if it is, there could be a juridical problem and we already stated if there would be no clarity at least my party in the European Parliament will try to push for a advisory opinion of the European Court on this.''
Asked if the European Parliament had any means of convincing Turkey to implement the Ankara Agreement with the Republic of Cyprus, Eurlings said ''we can exert a lot of political pressure because at the end of the accession process by Turkey, we will have to give an assent otherwise Turkey cannot enter, and I think everybody knows that very clearly in Brussels.''
To a question if there was any possibility for the European Parliament not to ratify the protocol, Eurlings said ''yes, of course, and we could also postpone the ratification of the protocol.''
Referring to his meetings with Mr. Iacovou and earlier with President Tassos Papadopoulos, Mr. Eurlings said it was ''very good to hear from both persons the real drive to restart a negotiation for a solution on the island, a reunification.''
''It was positive to find some hope here on the Cypriot side that there could be a restart of talks on the real solution for the island very soon. I hope that will happen and we will push as a European Parliament for the implementation of the Ankara protocol because that would be a first step to normalise the relationships between Turkey and Cyprus,'' he added.
''We will try to push for that and much more we will try to push for a re-energising of the negotiation process to find a real solution on this island to get a reunited Cyprus because we believe for the real solution, not just UN need to push for, but also the EU needs to push for because the Republic of Cyprus being a member of the EU there is now a responsibility for Europe to be active in this process and to push for a solution,'' he said.