Statement by the Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou after the General Affairs Council in Brussels
Brussels, December 9 – After the adoption of the EU General Affairs Council Conclusions on Turkey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Markos Kyprianou, made the following statement regarding Turkey’s accession negotiations with the European Union:
“At the General Affairs Council, which took place on 7-8 December in Brussels, a thorough and in-depth discussion was held on Enlargement, and Turkey in particular, during which the Republic of Cyprus informed its partners, with sincerity and clarity, about its positions and the decisions it has made.
The Republic of Cyprus has repeatedly underlined that it firmly supports the continuation of Turkey’s accession course, provided of course that Turkey, as a candidate country, fulfills all the preconditions set by the EU, including the commitments it has undertaken itself. The commencement of accession negotiations with Turkey in 2005, to which the Republic of Cyprus consented, was accompanied by the setting up of specific terms and preconditions, on the basis of which this accession course would be held. Both the Negotiating Framework and the Declaration of September 21st 2005 include with absolute clarity all the obligations undertaken by Turkey with regard to Cyprus.
Unfortunately, five years after the setting up of a date to commence accession negotiations with Turkey, and four years since the actual commencement of accession negotiations, Turkey has not complied with the successive and strict recommendations of the European Union. Already in 2006 the Council decided, as a first reaction, the freezing of eight negotiating chapters and that no other chapter will close for as long as Turkey did not fulfill one of its obligations, namely, the implementation of the Ankara Protocol. With the same decision, the Council said it would continue to closely monitor Ankara’s compliance with all its obligations over the following three years, with 2009 being the milestone.
In spite of all these, Turkey has not made the slightest progress as regards its obligation to normalize relations with the Republic of Cyprus, which it still does not recognize despite the fact that the Council itself has underlined, already since 2005, that the recognition of all member states constitutes a necessary component of its accession process. On the contrary, Turkey continues to hinder Cyprus’ accession to international and regional organizations. Moreover, Turkey refuses to respect the rights of the Republic of Cyprus in exploiting the natural resources within its Exclusive Economic Zone, resorting, on many occasions, to the threat of use of force and to practices that are reminiscent of obsolete times.
Regarding the Cyprus issue, the EU has repeatedly called on Turkey to actively support the efforts to find a viable and just solution in accordance with the relevant Resolutions of the UN Security Council and the principles, on which the EU is founded. It is obvious that, until today, Turkey does not contribute positively and actively in achieving a solution.
In light of the above, the Republic of Cyprus considers that the non fulfillment of Turkey’s obligations to date can only result in consequences on the continuation of its accession negotiations, as stipulated by EU’s principles and practice. This position had been conveyed in time, at all levels, to all our partners in the EU.
The Council has today adopted unanimously the Conclusions on Turkey, which send strong and clear messages, calling on Turkey to fulfill its obligations. However, it has not been possible to find common ground within the Council on the extent of the consequences on the accession procedure of Turkey due to its non compliance with the obligations it has undertaken.
Therefore, the Republic of Cyprus has decided to proceed to the introduction of specific terms and preconditions on the negotiation Chapters, which are related to each one of Turkey’s obligations, as contained in the September 2005 Declaration, the Negotiation Framework and the December 2006 European Council Conclusions.
These Chapters are: Chapter 2: Freedom of Movement for workers; Chapter 23: Judiciary and Fundamental Rights; Chapter 24: Justice, Freedom and Security; Chapter 26: Education and Culture; Chapter 31: Foreign Policy, Security and Defense Policy. In addition to that, the position of the Republic of Cyprus regarding Chapter 15: Energy is known.
The setting of specific terms and preconditions will naturally affect progress in the negotiations on the above mentioned Chapters. At the same time, however, any progress in the negotiation of these Chapters will depend solely on Turkey, which must fulfill the terms and preconditions, which will be set. Non fulfillment of the preconditions will not allow the opening of these Chapters.”