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European Parliament Committee Calls on Turkey to Withdraw its Troops
2009-02-13 14:10:36

Nicosia, Feb 12 (CNA) -- The Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament has urged Turkey to facilitate a suitable climate for the ongoing peace talks in Cyprus by withdrawing its military forces from the island and by allowing the two community leaders to negotiate freely their country's future.

The Committee expressed regret that Turkey has not met its obligations relating to the Additional Protocol, and warned Ankara that non compliance with its commitments by December 2009 may affect even more negatively its negotiations for accession to the EU.

The Committee adopted on Wednesday a draft progress report on Turkey’s accession course, by a large majority (65 in favor, 4 against). The report is expected to be submitted for approval by the plenary next month.

In the report, the committee “regrets that the EC-Turkey Association Agreement and the Additional Protocol thereto have not yet been implemented fully by the Turkish government; recalls that the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments by December 2009 may further seriously affect the process of negotiations.”

At the same time, it “invites the Council to continue to follow up and review progress made on the issues covered by the declaration of the Community and its Member States of September 21, 2005 in accordance with its conclusions of December 11, 2006.”

The Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament “stresses the need for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus question based on UN Security Council resolutions and on the principles on which the European Union is founded.”

It also “welcomes the renewed commitment of both political leaders on both sides to a negotiated solution and supports the ongoing direct negotiations by the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and will accept any agreement reached by them provided that it is in conformity with the principles on which the EU is founded, including the four fundamental freedoms, and that it is accepted after a referendum.”

The report “calls on Turkey to facilitate a suitable climate for negotiations by withdrawing Turkish forces and allowing the two leaders to negotiate freely their country's future.”

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