Cyprus Foreign Minister calls on Turkey to meet EU obligations
Nicosia, Dec 27 -- Turkey has to meet its European obligations or face
any possible consequences, Cyprus Foreign Minister George Iacovou has said,
recalling that Brussels is set to scrutinize Ankara’s progress towards this
direction in the year ahead.
“If Turkey does not proceed with the implementation of all its obligations, it will be accountable to Brussels within 2006,” he added in response to statements by senior Turkish government officials that Europe has made a mistake in accepting Cyprus in its ranks and that Ankara will not move unilaterally by opening its ports and airports to Cypriot air and sea transport.
The Minister, also said that Turkey has an obligation towards the EU as well as towards Cyprus as a member state to ratify and implement the protocol extending its customs union agreement with Brussels to cover Cyprus, too.
So far, Turkey has refused to either recognize Cyprus or extend the customs union to this eastern Mediterranean island, where Ankara maintains some 35,000 troops since it invaded and occupied its northern third. Cypriot aircraft and vessels are prohibited from using Turkish air space or ports.
Mr. Iacovou pointed out that Turkey, as an acceding country, has undertaken to meet certain obligations towards the Union, which will monitor progress towards their implementation.