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Cyprus says no EU chapters to open for Turkey before progress report
2006-10-12 14:45:03

Nicosia, Oct 12 - Cyprus Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardis today said that the government's aim was and remains that by November 8, when the European Commission's progress report on Turkey is to be tabled, none of the 34 remaining chapters in Turkey's EU accession negotiations should be opened.

Asked if Cyprus would block the chapter on Industry, Mr. Pashiardis said it would not be taken to today?s COREPER meeting, after an intervention by the delegations of Greece and Cyprus.

Mr. Pashiardis also said: ''We stand by our steadfast position, which has already been expressed, that we will not allow the opening or closing of any chapters if Turkey continues to refuse to fulfill the commitments and obligations it undertook towards the EU and the Republic of Cyprus.''

Referring to this week's meetings of Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in Brussels, Mr. Pashiardis said their only significance is the reaffirmation of the primary aim of the Turkish side, which is not the solution of the Cyprus problem but the political upgrading of the regime in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.

Commenting on Mr. Talat's meetings in Brussels, Mr. Pashiardis also said that ''beyond the personal emotions his meetings with foreign officials in general give him, his specific contacts in Brussels were unofficial regarding their form and simply informative regarding their substance.''

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.

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