Cyprus will insist on Turkey meeting EU obligations
by Athena Arsalidou
Vienna, May 12 (CNA) - Turkey's refusal to fulfill her European obligations will have a negative impact on her EU bid, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos warned today, adding that the government of the Republic of Cyprus will insist on Turkey's compliance with EU standards.
''Not only do we not see Turkey making any step forward, but we hear provocative statements that Turkey will not make any progress in fulfilling her obligations'', he said, adding that these statements in the end, will prove to be negative for Turkey itself, by making the country ''a hostage of her own statements''.
Speaking at a press conference held today in Vienna, President Papadopoulos reiterated that Cyprus will insist on the fulfillment of all EU obligations by Turkey.
''We will insist that Turkey above all fulfills its obligations and then discuss other matters,'' the President stressed, adding that Turkey's obligations cannot be connected with her demand to lift the so-called embargoes on the Turkish Cypriots.
''We reject that there are any embargoes against the Turkish Cypriots and we insist that the two issues are not interconnected,'' he noted, adding that the fulfillment of the EU obligations on behalf of Turkey does not depend on developments in Cyprus ''and this is our firm position.''
Referring to both short conversations he held on the sidelines of the EU-Latin America/Caribbean Summit with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, President Papadopoulos pointed out that they were not planned.
''The meetings were not planned. Annan asked me about the progress made for the discussions on a technical level, I briefed him and we exchanged ideas as to what can be done. I do not consider these meetings as highly important events or developments,'' President Papadopoulos said.
On the sidelines of the Summit, President Papadopoulos held short conversations among others with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, British Premier Tony Blair and President of the European Parliament Josep Borell.
Asked about the meeting he held today with Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, he said that they exchanged views on Turkey's stance regarding her denial to fulfill her European obligations, which are clearly stated in the EU-Turkey negotiating framework.
He added that since the visit to Cyprus of Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyiannis, both governments have set up an action programme, which is shaped according to new developments.
''Today, we have reviewed our policy and what is left to be done. This is a contact, on a weekly basis, between both countries,'' he said.