French EU Minister calls on Turkey to recognize Cyprus Republic
Nicosia, Apr 4 - French Minister delegate for European Affairs Catherine Colonna called on Turkey to recognize the Republic of Cyprus, stressing that a state cannot apply for accession to a bloc without recognizing all its member-states.
''Turkey assumed commitments towards the EU. We are 27 member states, one of which is the Republic of Cyprus, which it (Turkey) must recognize and must have normal relations with, because one cannot be a candidate for accession to a group which includes 27 states without recognizing this group,'' Ms. Colona told Radio France Internationale (RFI). The interview was posted on the French Foreign Ministry’s website.
Asked if she agrees with the views on Turkey’s European accession of French President Jacques Chirac or Nicolas Sarkozy, the candidate for the French presidency, Ms. Colona pointed out that there are arguments in favor of Turkey's accession as well as reservations. Turkey had difficulties showing that it respects the accession criteria, something which was underlined last year, she stressed.
She also said that talks between Turkey and the EU are open but proceed in a slow pace, recalling that a number of chapters of the acquis communautaire cannot open while Turkey does not respect its obligations.
Turkey, a country aspiring to become an EU member state, does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus and refuses to implement the EU-Turkey Customs Union Protocol by opening its ports and airports to Cypriot vessels and aircraft.