Greece and Cyprus call for a strict evaluation of Turkey in December
Nicosia, Nov 11 – On Wednesday, November 11, Greece and Cyprus said that the December European Union Summit should strictly evaluate whether Turkey fulfilled its commitments as an EU candidate state. The Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas met with Cypriot Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou in Athens.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Minister Kyprianou, Minister Droutsas reiterated his country's ''absolute backing of the efforts of President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias for a solution to the Cyprus problem and the talks he conducts with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mr. Talat.''
''I reiterate our clear position that we want a solution on the basis of the UN decisions on the basis of the treaties and principles of the EU and, above all, with the full respect of the acquis communautaire.''
Regarding to the December EU Summit, Minister Droutsas said that ''Turkey will be evaluated by the EU objectively and strictly on the basis of its actions and of its response to the commitments it undertook towards the EU and its member-states for the good neighborliness and the respect of the territorial integrity of Greece, the respect of the human rights of minorities, the protection of religious rights, combating illegal immigration and of course the implementation of the Ankara protocol and the normalization of its relations with the Republic of Cyprus and the Cyprus problem.''
On his part, Minister Kyprianou said that Greece and Cyprus share the same views on the Cyprus problem, adding that what is important is a ''viable solution with no suffocating timeframes, as such timeframes do not contribute, on the contrary would be counterproductive.''
''Turkey has a very important role to play because it is not a mere spectator in this issue, is not a third country. Turkey created the Cyprus problem, it is a key player and it must have a practical positive stance,” he added.
Referring to initiatives taken by Turkey, Minister Kyprianou said that Cyprus waits ''to see Turkey proceed with practical specific gestures and not just expressions of intent.''
With regard to the December landmark, Minister Kyprianou recalled that ''Cyprus supports the capability of Turkey to join the EU with no discounts, not a la carte, but with full compliance with its obligations… because Cyprus, and I would like to stress that, desires a European Turkey not just Turkey in the EU; a Turkey which would act and think in a European manner and not just a guest in the EU, as, perhaps it seeks,'' he added.
In response to a question on how the situation will be formed internationally both regarding Turkey's evaluation in December and the talks for the solution to the Cyprus problem, Minister Kyprianou said that these are two parallel processes which perhaps affect each other.
He noted however, ‘‘We do not deem that an objective, even strict evaluation of Turkey would have negative consequences on the talks, especially if we judge Turkey's stance so far in the talks, which is anything but positive.''
''If Turkey wants to make it easier for itself and to ease its obligations towards the EU, the simpler thing to do is to contribute positively to the solution of the Cyprus problem,'' the Cypriot FM noted.
Noting that Cyprus desires a common decision in September, Minister Kyprianou recalled that issues regarding enlargement are decided on an inter-state level.
''Cyprus reserves the right either by itself either with friends and EU partners to proceed with moves in case of an unsatisfactory common position which is our goal,'' he concluded.