Prescott: Ankara has responsibilities as it wishes to join the EU
Nicosia, Oct 26 -- British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said the EU does not and cannot accept that anyone can be treated any different in the process of negotiations.
"It is essential that every nation recognizes the rights of the nations of each and every one member state," he added before stressing: "Turkey is well aware of its own responsibilities in the Union. They will be expected to observe them just as much as Cyprus has responsibilities."
Asked why Ankara has not yet recognized Cyprus, Mr. Prescott noted the plethora of statements made on this issue and pointed out that Ankara has responsibilities as it wishes to join the EU.
He was speaking to the Cyprus News Agency during his recent visit to Nicosia.
He also said that EU values will play their part in the search for a settlement in Cyprus, something he hopes will make a difference in the solution of the problem.
He then welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) London and Nicosia signed in Cyprus on Tuesday and said President Papadopoulos has produced an action plan with regard to the MOU, adding that Britain and Cyprus enjoy a lot of close bonds which they wish to maintain through working together on common problems.
Questioned on the UK stance with regard to Cyprus and Turkey’s accession course, he said London, as EU president, carried out those responsibilities vested in it by decisions taken unanimously by all EU 25 members.
“We did not find any disagreement with the rest of our colleagues in carrying out that responsibility, there was no difference between a British policy in this area and the British presidency,” he said, pointing out that “when you are in the EU and you have agreements, you carry out your responsibilities.”
Mr. Prescott also said that “we will reach that when that happens but there are 35 chapters to be negotiated with Turkey and each and every one of them has to be agreed by each and every one member of the EU.”
“It is essential that every nation has to recognize the rights of the nations of each one of us in the EU, when people sign up for the agreement, they know this is an obligation,” he stressed.
On efforts to find a negotiated settlement in Cyprus, he said all parties agree that the UN should be part of that process but also noted that EU values will play a part in such efforts.
He also said that some parties to the dispute are EU members and of talks and “one can hope that this may make a difference” because ''at the end of the day these matters are settled by jaw-jaw not war-war.”