EU calls on Turkey to fulfill obligations towards Cyprus
Brussels, Dec 12 – The General Affairs Council has adopted the European Commission proposal for the revised EU-Turkey relations, in which it stresses Turkey's obligation to create a better climate to find a solution in Cyprus.
Foreign Minister George Iacovou, who represented Cyprus, said that the text approved maintains in its entirety the acquis contained in the statement of 21st September, as well as the negotiating framework adopted on 3rd October.
In addition, the text now also makes reference to Turkey's obligation to respect and implement the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, he added.
The EU had officially approved (on 21st September) the counterstatement of its 25 members to the Turkish unilateral declaration of not recognizing the Republic of Cyprus.
Mr. Iacovou also clarified that all references on Cyprus are included in the short term priorities, meaning two years.
Moreover, in the final text on EU-Turkey relations, Ankara is invited to ensure it will grant its continued support in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, implying that for the first time something more is demanded from Turkey.
The previous documents, including the Committee’s, had merely called on Turkey to continue supporting the efforts of the UN Secretary-General.
Furthermore, Turkey’s relations with all member states, including the Republic of Cyprus, must be normalized, since Ankara is called to take specific steps towards this.
As regards the Protocol of the Ankara Agreement, the statement of the 21st September is also being reminded that the EU will examine, within 2006, whether Turkey has proceeded with its implementation.
Mr. Iacovou said that Turkey will have to make up a national plan that will include specific deadlines on the measures it intends to take to fulfill its priorities.
"It is clear", he added, "that surely Turkey will have to include in its action plan what specific steps it intends to take to fulfill its obligations regarding Cyprus which are described as short term priorities".