German Foreign Minister calls on Turkey to abide by its commitments
Nicosia, Sep 29 - German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank Walter
Steinmeier expressed the hope that Turkey will implement the additional
protocol of the Ankara Agreement, stressing that the German government
expects Turkey to abide by its commitments.
Speaking after talks in Berlin on Wednesday with Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs George Lillikas, Steinmeier said that the two discussed Turkey's accession course and agreed that Germany, Cyprus, Turkey and Finland will have to examine ways to find the best possible solution, an official statement said.
During their discussions, bilateral issues and the Cyprus problem were examined in relation with Turkey's EU course and its obligations towards the EU and the remaining EU member countries.
Mr. Lillikas made an in depth and detailed analysis of the parameters which make up Turkey's EU course and its obligations.
The German Minister expressed understanding for Cyprus' positions, as well as the hope that Turkey will proceed with the ratification of the additional protocol of the Ankara Agreement before the end of the year and generally implement the obligations it has undertaken.
The two ministers chaired a meeting of delegations from both ministries and examined issues of public interest such as the future of Europe and the Constitutional Convention, in view of the German Presidency of the EU during the first half of 2007.
They also examined Iran's nuclear programme, the situation in the Western Balkans and prospects of integrating the countries of the region in European structures, the future status of Kosovo as well as the situation in the Middle East following the recent Lebanon crisis.
During a press conference, Mr. Steinmeier thanked his Cypriot counterpart and thanked him for the assistance which the government of Cyprus provided for the repatriation of German nationals from Lebanon.
Mr. Steinmeier expressed satisfaction for the stability currently in Lebanon but also disappointment that the Palestinians have not managed to form a government which would have helped the situation in the region.
On Turkey's EU course, Mr. Steinmeier expressed the hope that Turkey will implement the additional protocol of the Ankara Agreement, stressing that the German government is expecting Turkey to abide by its commitments.
He stressed that both he and the German Minister agreed that Germany, Cyprus, Turkey and Finland must examine ways to find the best possible solution.
Regarding Turkey's EU course, Mr. Lillikas pointed out to Mr. Steinmeier that the Cypriot government has proved its readiness to cooperate during the Finnish presidency to avoid a ''train crash'' with the EU.
Cyprus, which joined the EU in May 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
Turkey, a country aspiring to become an EU member state, does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus and refuses to implement the EU-Turkey Customs Union Protocol, by opening its ports and airports to Cyprus.