EU leaders urge Turkey to fulfill obligations
by Emilia Christofi
Brussels, Jun 16 (CNA) -- European Union leaders called on Turkey to fulfill its obligations under the Association Agreement and its Additional protocol, which include opening its ports and airports to Cyprus.
In the European Council presidency conclusions, the EU leaders stress that in 2006 they will follow up on all the issues included in the 21 September 2005 EU Declaration which apart from the protocol also refers to improving relations with Nicosia and stop preventing Cyprus from participating in international organisations.
The paragraph on Cyprus is as follows:
''The European Council reviewed progress made in the acquis screening and welcomes the start of substantive accession negotiations with Turkey. Turkey is expected to share the values, objectives and the legal order set out in the treaties. The Union is committed to support Turkey in its efforts to comply with the Union's standards and membership obligations, including the Copenhagen criteria.
The European Council recalls, in line with previous conclusions, that the current negotiations are based on each country's own merits and that their pace will depend on each country progress in preparing for accession measured against the requirements set out in the Negotiating Framework.
This includes the fulfillment of Turkey's obligations under the Association Agreement and under its Additional Protocol, full implementation of which will be evaluated in 2006 as agreed in the Declaration of the European Community and its Member States of 21 September 2005, as well as the implementation of the revised Accession Partnership. The European Council recalls that the Council will ensure, in the course of 2006, a follow up on the progress made on all the relevant issues included in the above mentioned Declaration.
The European Council calls on Turkey to intensify the reform process and to implement it fully and effectively, so as to ensure its irreversibility and sustainability as well as to progress towards the complete fulfillment of the Copenhagen political criteria, including the commitment to good neighbourly relations. In this context, any action which could negatively affect the process of peaceful settlement of disputes should be avoided''.