EU to call Turkey to support efforts for a Cyprus settlement
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Nov 4 (CNA) – The EU, in its document on the Turkey-EU revised partnership that will be adopted later this month, calls on Turkey to support efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem within the framework of the UN and on the basis and principles on which the EU was formed.
It also stresses the need for Ankara to recognize the Republic of Cyprus.
Ankara’s obligation to implement its customs union with the 10 new EU members and to normalize its relations with all member states is being explicitly indicated in two documents on Turkey, which the European Commission is expected to adopt on November 9.
The EU will also adopt on Wednesday a common strategy paper for all candidate countries.
The first document for Turkey is the annual report of progress which covers the period since the last report a year ago, November 2004. This document will be submitted to the EU Foreign Affairs Council.
The second document concerns the revised partnership and is the most important, since it includes the “road map” for the accession negotiations. This document will also be submitted to the EU Foreign Affairs Council, which will have to adopt it with a special majority.
EU sources said that a series of preconditions that Turkey must satisfy within two years are mentioned in this document.
Regarding Cyprus, the document includes the points of the EU counterstatement of September 21 to Turkey’s unilateral declaration of not recognizing the Cyprus Republic.
Ankara is called to proceed with the implementation of its customs union protocol, opening among others its ports to ships under Cyprus flag.
EU sources said that the fact that this obligation has been included in Turkey’s short-term obligations does not mean that Turkey has two years to do this, but must comply within the deadline outlined by the “25”, that is within 2006.
Normalisation of Turkey’s relations with all member states is also included in Ankara’s short-term obligations.
The document also refers to the need of recognition of the Cyprus Republic by Ankara. No deadline is set out for this.
As regards the Cyprus issue, Turkey is called to support efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement in the UN framework on the basis and principles on which the EU was formed.