EU General Affairs Council expects Turkey to support Cyprus talks
Brussels, Dec 8 - The EU General Affairs Council expects Turkey to actively support the negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem, noting that Turkey's commitment and contribution in concrete terms to a comprehensive settlement is crucial.
During the 2984th General Affairs Council meeting of the European Council, which took place in Brussels on December 7 and 8, the following conclusions regarding enlargement/stabilization and the association process in relation to Turkey were reached: The European Council concluded that Turkey has not fulfilled its obligations of full non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol of the Association Agreement, and has not made progress towards the normalization of its relations with the Republic of Cyprus.
In its conclusions, the European Council stated that, ''in line with the Negotiating Framework and previous European Council and Council conclusions, the Council underlines that Turkey needs to commit itself unequivocally to good neighborly relations and to the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the United Nations Charter, having recourse, if necessary, to the International Court of Justice.''
''In this context, the Union urges the avoidance of any kind of threat, source of friction or actions which could damage good neighborly relations and the peaceful settlement of disputes. Furthermore, the EU stresses again all the sovereign rights of EU Member States which include, inter alia, entering into bilateral agreements, in accordance with the EU acquis and international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,'' it notes.
The conclusions adds that, ''recalling its conclusions of 11 December 2006 and the declaration of 21 September 2005, the Council notes with deep regret that Turkey, despite repeated calls, continues refusing to fulfill its obligation of full non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement.''
''In the absence of progress on this issue the Council will maintain its measures from 2006, which will have a continuous effect on the overall progress in the negotiations. Furthermore, Turkey has not made progress towards normalization of its relations with the Republic of Cyprus. The Council invites the Commission to monitor closely and specifically report on all issues covered by the declaration of the European Community and its Member States of 21 September 2005 in its forthcoming annual report. On this basis, the Council will continue to closely follow and review progress made, in accordance with its conclusions of 11 December 2006. Progress is now expected without further delay,'' the conclusions continue.
The Council conclusions note that, ''as emphasized by the Negotiating Framework, the Council also expects Turkey to actively support the ongoing negotiations aimed at a fair, comprehensive and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem within the UN framework, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and in line with the principles on which the Union is founded.''
''Turkey's commitment and contribution in concrete terms to such a comprehensive settlement is crucial,'' it adds.