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Cypriot President says Turkey does not intend to implement EU protocol
2006-05-15 16:14:50

Larnaca, May 14 (CNA) - Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said that Turkey not only has failed to implement the protocol extending its customs union to the ten new EU member states, including the Republic of Cyprus, but at every opportunity declares that it has no intention of doing so.

The President noted that the issue will be discussed at the European Commission and Council towards the end of the year.

He also called on ''those not led by malicious intent'' to criticise the Turkish side and make clear that so far it has not consented to the operation of the technical committees that will deal with aspects of the Cyprus problem, or to the appointment of the third member of the Committee for Missing Persons.

President Papadopoulos was speaking yesterday at Larnaca Airport on his return from Vienna, where he participated in the EU-Latin America and Caribbean summit.

Replying to questions, President Papadopoulos said that in Paris, during his meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, ''it was agreed that committees would be set up to prepare the ground for the discussion of the fundamental issues of the Cyprus problem, as well as other matters aiming at improving the climate and dealing with routine issues.''

''For both the agreement of both is necessary,'' he pointed out, adding that ''instead of criticising our side for the fact that the committees have not yet started work, those who are not led by malicious intent should criticise the Turkish side and make clear that so far it has not consented to the operation of the technical committees or to the appointment of the third member of the Committee for Missing Persons.''

Referring to the implementation of the Ankara Protocol, President Papadopoulos said that Turkey ''not only has failed to comply so far, but provocatively at every opportunity declares on every level that it does not intend to.''

''This is an issue that will be examined, as already decided, by the Commission of the EU and later by the Council, in October or November this year,'' he added.

Asked if any indications were given during his meeting in Vienna with Annan that the UN would exert pressure on Turkey towards the operation of the technical committees, President Papadopoulos said Annan asked ''what was going on'' and knew the answer.

He added that Annan's Special Representative in Cyprus Michael Moller has briefed the UN Secretary General on the current status.

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