Cyprus sees EU-Turkey problems if declaration incorporated
Nicosia, Oct 10 (CNA) - Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said today that there would be a huge procedural and legal problem between the EU and Turkey if Ankara chose to incorporate in its protocol, extending its customs union to the ten new EU members, a unilateral declaration that it does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus.
Replying to questions after a regional ministerial conference on the environment and public health, President Papadopoulos said that ''neither the EU decision nor Turkey's acceptance predetermined timeframes'' and recalled that the EU had requested of Turkey to ratify the protocol the soonest possible.
''We hope that Turkey will proceed to ratify it,'' the President added.
Last week the EU opened accession negotiations with Turkey, which has to ratify the protocol through its Assembly.
The President noted that ''a huge legal and procedural problem would arise between Turkey and the EU'' if Ankara incorporated its unilateral declaration in the protocol, ''because the European Parliament, which must give its consent, will deem that the Turkish National Assembly has approved one text and the Parliament another, and then there will be no ratification of the agreement.''
President Papadopoulos pointed out that the European Parliament's powers on this matter were restricted but noted that there were other measures it could take, since it is the Parliament that approves any expenditure.
''Besides, there is the (Court of Justice of the) European Communities, which I believe will conclude that the introduction of other elements in the agreement made its ratification by Turkey void, will all the consequences this may have on Turkey,'' he added.