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Cyprus expects EU to show consistency regarding decisions on Turkey
2006-05-17 11:28:28

Nicosia, May 17 (CNA) - Government Spokesman George Lillikas said today that the government of Cyprus would adhere to the unanimous position of the Council of the European Union on September 21, 2005 (EU counterstatement to the Turkish unilateral declaration of not recognising the Republic of Cyprus) and trusts that the EU will respect its unanimous decisions and show credibility and consistency.

Invited to comment on press information that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked to postpone the implementation of the Ankara Agreement (Customs Union Protocol) for one year, Lillikas said that no such demand has been officially submitted to the government of Cyprus or the EU by Turkey or any EU member state.

''The government of Cyprus adheres to the unanimous position taken by the Council of the European Union on September 21, 2005 and trusts that the EU will respect its unanimous decisions and show credibility and consistency,'' he said.

Lillikas added that the government has the means and the ways to protect its national interests within the EU.

Invited to comment on Erdogan's statement that unless the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots is lifted, Turkey, being a guarantor power of Cyprus, would take action, Lillikas said that this statement is provocative and unacceptable.

''There is no isolation of the Turkish Cypriots that is due to the Greek Cypriots or the Republic of Cyprus. If there is any problem, this is due to the Turkish invasion of 1974 and the continuous occupation of Cyprus. Erdogan's reference to the Treaty of Guarantee is a provocation, since the most serious violation of the Treaty is the invasion and occupation with the continuation of the Turkish army's presence in Cyprus,'' he said.

The Spokesman noted that the promotion of direct trade with the Turkish Cypriots and the political upgrading of the regime in the Turkish occupied areas is yet another serious violation of the Treaty of Guarantee, because it leads to secession, which is forbidden by the Treaty of Guarantee itself.

''Erdogan's statement is provocative and unacceptable. With this statement, Erdogan shows how Turkey understands its EU obligations. It also gives and indication that Turkey is far from comprehending and respecting European values,'' he added.

The 1960 Treaty of Guarantee is one of the documents that founded the Republic of Cyprus, designed to preserve the territorial independence of the Republic of Cyprus. The guarantor powers of Cyprus are Great Britain, Greece and Turkey.

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