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Greek Prime Minister warns Turkey it must meet obligations
2006-11-02 11:49:19

Athens, Nov 2 - Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis sent a sharp warning to Turkey on Thursday that it could not demand anything in return from an EU member in order to meet its obligations.

Addressing the Greek parliament meeting on foreign policy, Karamanlis warned Turkey that the implementation of its Customs Union protocol, which provides for the opening of ports and airports to Cyprus, is an obligation towards the EU and its member states, and this obligation cannot be linked with any issues concerning the internal functioning of the Union.

Regarding efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, Karamanlis said that any actions that consolidated the results of the Turkish invasion, any activities that favoured the division of the island, any actions that led to the political upgrading of the illegal regime in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, complied neither with the efforts for reunification or the decisions of the UN Security Council and the EU principles.

Karamanlis said Greece supports Turkey's European course with the belief that this would lead to ''a new prospect of peace and cooperation,'' noting that ''a Turkey that gradually adapts to the acquis, the principles, the values of the EU, can function better both for its people and its neighbours.''

''It does not help to maintain the anachronism of the casus belli, its obligations towards the EU member states, among which Cyprus, cannot be ignored,'' Karamanlis pointed out, adding that ''if Turkey really wants to proceed towards Europe, it must realise the obligations it has undertaken towards the 25, it must meet the preconditions set and move along the lines set out by the EU.''

The Greek Prime Minister said his country has supported UN initiatives for a viable solution of the Cyprus problem, and encourages the resumption of the dialogue between the two communities on the island under UN auspices, for a functional, viable solution based on UN Security Council decisions and EU principles.

''We insist on the resumption of a well prepared effort for the solution of the problem. We insist that the solution of the Cyprus problem must be functional and democratic, because if it is not functional it will not be viable and if it is not viable it will not be a solution,'' he said, and assured that ''in this direction we are in constant communication and cooperation with the President, the government and the political leadership of the Republic of Cyprus.''

Cyprus, which joined the EU in May 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

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