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Cypriot government disappointed over Turkish statements
2005-10-12 13:48:07

Nicosia, Oct 12 (CNA) - The Cypriot government has expressed disappointment over statements by Turkish officials that Ankara will not implement its Customs Union with Cyprus before the lifting of the so-called embargo against the Turkish Cypriots.

Cypriot Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said that the EU must react collectively in view of commitments assumed in relation to Turkey's obligations towards its European prospects.

Asked how the government plans to react to statements made by the Turkish Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the implementation of the protocol, the Spokesman said, ''We have noted these positions with great disappointment since they contradict the collective EU positions. We will indicate this negative stance wherever it is appropriate.''

Responding to a question, he said that there is a general pressure mechanism of the accession talks, stressing that the EU position is that Turkey must implement the protocol extending its Customs Union to the ten new members, including Cyprus.

In 2006 the Turkish stance and progress will be reviewed, the Spokesman noted.

Asked what the reaction of the government will be in the event that Turkey forbids the entrance of a ship flying the Cyprus flag to its ports, the Spokesman said that ''the first normal reaction is to brief our partners about this violation.''

He further said that the Ports Authority could not confirm today reports that a Chinese shipping company would try to break the embargo imposed by Turkey to ships departing from Cypriot ports or under the Cyprus flag.

However, he noted that ''there are several international companies interested in the trade through Cypriot ports, including Chinese Cosco.''

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