Spokesman: EP resolution a clear message to Ankara
Nicosia, Feb 11 – On February 10, 2010, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on Turkey’s Progress Report for 2009. In a statement to the Press related to the aforementioned European Parliament report, Government Spokesman Mr. Stefanos Stefanou mentioned the following:
“The European Parliament’s resolution on Turkey’s Progress Report for 2009, which was approved yesterday by the Plenary of the body in Strasbourg, constitutes a clear message to Ankara to immediately implement its obligations which concern Cyprus. It also underlines the need for Turkey’s active support for the achievement of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Basically the European Parliament calls on Turkey to contribute in concrete terms to the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue, reviewing its policy so far. The resolution constitutes one more political tool in our struggle for the achievement of a solution in Cyprus that would end the Turkish occupation and reunify our homeland and our people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
Specifically the European Parliament gives the following clear messages to Turkey:
- It deplores the fact that, for the fourth consecutive year, the Additional Protocol to the EC-Turkey Association Agreement has not been implemented by Turkey and calls on the Turkish Government to implement it fully and without delay. It also recalls that failure to do so may further seriously affect the process of the accession negotiations;
- It reiterates the unequivocal obligation of Turkey to maintain good-neighbourly relations as provided for by the negotiating framework and underlines the need for Turkey to support the efforts for the achievement of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem;
- It calls on the Turkish Government to actively support the ongoing negotiations and to contribute in concrete terms to the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue, based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation, in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the principles on which the EU is founded;
I note that it is the first time that the provision for a bizonal bicommunal federation is included in a resolution of the European Parliament.
- It urges Turkey to act pragmatically and do its utmost to ensure the success of the negotiations between the two leaders;
- It calls on Turkey to facilitate a suitable climate for negotiations by immediately starting to withdraw its forces from Cyprus, by addressing the issue of colonization on the island and also by enabling the return of the sealed-off section of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants in compliance with Resolution 550(1984) of the United Nations Security Council;
- It urges Turkey to ensure that the rights of all displaced persons in Cyprus are respected, including those of religious minorities. It stresses that in the case of the Catholic Maronite community, freedoms should also be accorded to all four Maronite villages;
- It welcomes the reactivation of the Committee on Missing Persons and calls on Turkey to take appropriate action on this humanitarian issue;
- Finally, it calls on the Turkish Government to cease hindering civilian vessels prospecting for oil on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean.
It is evident that the European Parliament gives a clear message to Turkey: smooth continuation of the accession negotiations and the membership of Turkey provided that it meets its obligations and solves the Cyprus problem.
The political messages of the Resolution are a continuation of the clear political messages that were sent to Turkey with the European Council Conclusions last December.
They are a result of the fact that the Republic of Cyprus was in the forefront due to the initiatives and the policy of the President on the Cyprus problem, which took Cyprus out of the isolation and convinced on his willingness and efforts to achieve a solution of the Cyprus problem.
The resolution constitutes another proof that Turkey is not at all considered blameless and that it is not a step ahead. Our policy places Turkey before its responsibilities and its communication tricks do not have the impact that Turkey would have liked.
The Government wishes to thank: -The Rapporteur of the resolution Mrs Oomen-Ruijten for her work -The Cypriot MEPs for their hard effort -Our Permanent Representation in Brussels for its good work”
Replying to a question on how the Government will utilize the resolution, he noted that the resolution demonstrates how the Cyprus Government is trying to present the Cyprus problem on the international political scene, pointing out that Turkey can play a crucial role in the Cyprus problem, but that it must respect the UN resolutions and that it must actively work for the achievement of a solution to the Cyprus problem. Consequently, he added, the resolution will be utilized in various directions and at various levels.
Asked whether the Government will use the resolution at the negotiations, Mr. Stefanou said that the resolution would help the Greek Cypriot side to better promote its positions.