Cyprus President: Turkey has explicit obligations towards the EU
Larnaca, Mar 22 – Turkey has explicit obligations towards the EU, ones that it has accepted and signed and it is up to the EU, when it reviews Turkey’s progress regarding the implementation of these obligations in 2006, to decide how it will address the whole situation.
This is what Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has said while speaking to the press at Larnaca airport on Wednesday prior to his departure for Brussels to attend the spring European Council.
Invited to comment on statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayiip Erdogan that Turkey will not open its ports and airports for Turkish Cypriots “unless sanctions against northern Cyprus are raised”, Papadopoulos reiterated “there is no embargo against Turkish Cypriots in any field, there are restrictions in the goal of the Turkish Cypriot administration to behave or participate as a separate state. Difficulties are self-imposed by there own policy.”
“Turkey has explicit obligations towards the EU, which it has accepted and signed, and it is up to the EU, when it reviews Turkey’s progress regarding the implementation of these obligations in 2006, at the end of the year, to decide how it will address the whole situation,” he added.
Invited to say if there is any development on the issue of technical committees on Cyprus, Papadopoulos said UN Secretary General and his Special Representative to Cyprus Michael Moller are expected to secure the consent of the Turkish Cypriot side to begin their work.
“We are ready whenever we are invited to participate”, he added.
A joint statement issued after a meeting in Paris on February 28, 2006, Annan and the Cypriot President said that “the leaders of both communities (in Cyprus) have agreed that bicommunal discussions on a series of issues, agreement on which is needed for the benefit of all Cypriots, will be undertaken at the technical level”.
Invited to say if the technical committees will discuss technical issues and confidence building measures, Papadopoulos said that he has also noted in the most explicit and formal way that “in the new process, which we hope to begin, issues regarding preparatory talks to solve the Cyprus question, matters aiming at solving problems which come up and topics that could create a good climate will be discussed.''
He said “progress in one issue depends on the other”.
On the agenda of the European Council, Papadopoulos said EU members will discuss the national programmes submitted by each member state for the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy, issues relating to competition, labour, research and innovation.