Cyprus not to apply for NATO membership yet
Larnaca, Dec 5 (CNA) - Minister of Foreign Affairs George Iacovou has said that for the time being the Republic of Cyprus would not be applying for NATO membership, adding that there was no possibility of Turkey accepting Cyprus to join the North-Atlantic Alliance.
Referring to the EU budget, Iacovou said that by December 16 it would be decided what Cyprus would be contributing to the Community budget and what it would be benefiting, that is if it would be a net contributor, a neutral party or on the receiving end of assistance.
He added that the Republic of Cyprus aimed at being a contributor, since ''we know we have a high living standard, we know there are maybe eleven countries with a low living standard and I believe we are very close to this equilibrium.''
Iacovou was speaking yesterday at Larnaca Airport before departing for Ljubljana, Slovenia, where he will participate in the meeting of OSCE Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
He said they would discuss Turkey's veto against Cyprus joining the Open Skies agreement. ''For us, it is a matter of principle. Turkey continues to violate its commitment that it will not block Cyprus' accession to various organisations and agreements,'' Iacovou noted.
Replying to questions, Iacovou said that for a country to join NATO, all member states must agree, including Turkey.
''In my opinion, at the moment there is not even an internal issue for such an application, or the possibility for Turkey to accept Cyprus to become a NATO member, and that also goes for the Partnership for Peace,'' he said.
Tomorrow, Iacovou will fly to Brussels, where the EU budget and fiscal prospects are to be discussed, which he said were of immediate concern to the Republic of Cyprus.
On Wednesday, he will attend the NATO-EU-EEA (European Economic Area) dinner, to be attended by US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.