EU says Turkey’s commitments key element for taking decisions on talks
By Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Sep 26 (CNA) – The monitoring of Turkey’s commitments will be a key element for taking the necessary decisions on the conduct of negotiations with the country, said a draft political EU declaration that will presented on 3 October by the British Presidency to Turkey.
According to diplomatic sources, the draft is expected to be approved this week at the COREPER meeting together with the negotiating framework and will refer to the Greco--Turkish relations, satisfying Athens objectives.
Paragraph five of the draft political declaration, which will be presented by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul notes:
“The monitoring of your commitments will become a key element for taking, in the Council context, the necessary decisions on the conduct of negotiations with you. Particular attention will be paid to the implementation of the Protocol regarding the adaptation of the Ankara Agreement, on which the EU’s position was set out in its Declaration of 20 September 2005”.
Paragraph 4 of the draft satisfies Cyprus’ position that it must be made clear to Ankara that “negotiations are taking place in an Intergovernmental Conference with the participation of all Member States, as well as your country”.
The same paragraph mentions the reforms in Turkey and Greco Turkish relations. The draft underlines the need for Turkey towards “full implementation of the pre-accession strategy and reforms, in particular as regards strengthening the independence and functioning of the judiciary, the overall framework for the exercise of fundamental freedoms (association, expression and religion), cultural rights, the further alignment of civil-military relations with European practice and the situation in the Southeast of the country”.
Furthermore, it notes, “in conformity with Turkey's commitment to peace and stability, and to the development of good neighbourly relations, including solutions to pending bilateral issues, Turkey should actively promote regional cooperation. This should contribute to regional stability”.
The draft mentions the development of negotiations and notes that the member states will decide when the time comes, whether conditions allow to complete the negotiations, bearing in mind the developments regarding the acquis communautaire from the time of the start of accession negotiations.