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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-11-08

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] COMMISSION REPORT - TURKEY CYPRUS
  • [02] PAPADOPOULOS - TURKEY
  • [03] REHN REPORT TURKEY

  • [01] COMMISSION REPORT - TURKEY CYPRUS

    The European Commission gave Turkey until mid-December to open its ports and airports to Cyprus or face consequences for its European Union membership talks.

    Failure to implement its obligations in full will affect the overall progress in the negotiations, the EU Commission says in the progress report released in Brussels on Wednesday.

    Turkey is also expected to ensure continued support for efforts to find a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem within the UN framework and in line with the principles on which the Union is founded, whilst contributing to a better climate for a comprehensive settlement.

    According to the report, Turkey is also expected to implement fully the Protocol adapting the Ankara Agreement to the accession of the 10 new EU Member States including Cyprus; and take concrete steps for the normalisation of bilateral relations with all Member States, including the Republic of Cyprus, as soon as possible.

    Moreover, the EU expects full, nondiscriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol, and the removal of all obstacles to the free movement of goods, including restrictions on means of transport, the progress report added.

    Furthermore, the EU will monitor closely and evaluate full implementation in 2006. The declaration also stressed that recognition of all Member States is a necessary component of the accession process and underlined the importance it attaches to the normalisation of relations between Turkey and all EU Member States, as soon as possible.

    The progress report notes that that Turkey has stated on several occasions that it remains committed to support UN efforts to find a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. At the same time, Turkey expressed support for the setting up of technical committees between the two Cypriot communities, as agreed during talks hosted by the UN in July, initiated after the February meeting in Paris between UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos.

    As regards the Additional Protocol extending the EC-Turkey Association Agreement to the ten Member States that acceded on 1 May 2004, which it had signed in July 2005 and which enabled the accession negotiations to start, the Commission notes that Ankara has not fully implemented it.

    Turkey has continued to deny access to its ports to vessels flying the Republic of Cyprus flag or where the last port of call is in Cyprus. Such restrictions on shipping often preclude the most economical way of transport and therefore result in a barrier to free movement of goods and to trade. They infringe the Customs Union agreement. Similar restrictions continued to apply in the field of air transport, it adds.

    The report also notes that no progress has been made on any aspects of normalising bilateral relations with the Republic of Cyprus and that Turkey has continued to impose a veto on Cyprus` membership of certain international organizations such as the OECD as well as its participation in the Wassenaar Agreement on the Code of Conduct on Arms Exports and on Dual Use Goods.

    As regards the cases before the European Court of Human Rights it notes that Turkey in the case of Myra Xenides-Arestis vs Turkey had violated the ``protection of property`` (Article 8) and the ``right to respect for the applicant`s home`` (Article 1 of Protocol No. 1). It noted that the Court demanded that Turkey introduces a remedy which secures effective redress for violations, in relation to the application, as well as in respect of all similar applications pending before the Court in

    The Armed Forces have continued to exercise significant political influence. Senior members of the armed forces have expressed their opinion on domestic and foreign policy issues including Cyprus, secularism, the Kurdish issue, and on the indictment concerning the Semdinli bombing (see sections on the judiciary and South East).

    Strategy ----------- In its strategy, adopted today, the Commission expects Turkey to ensure full, non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Ankara Agreement and the removal of all obstacles to the free movement of goods, including restrictions on means of transport.

    Failure to implement its obligations in full will affect the overall progress in the negotiations, it adds. It further notes that the Commission will make relevant recommendations ahead of the December European Council, if Turkey has not fulfilled its obligations. It is also essential that, as stated in the Accession Partnership, Turkey takes concrete steps for the normalisation of bilateral relations with all EU Member States as soon as possible, it concludes.

    [02] PAPADOPOULOS - TURKEY

    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said that the European Commission`s progress report on Turkey was on the whole positive for Cyprus.

    In remarks from Split, Croatia, President Papadopoulos noted that nothing has changed from the draft, adding that the report contains quite a few positive points, although some points could have been more specific and more detailed regarding Turkey`s stance.

    Asked what he thought of the report, President Papadopoulos said that ``generally the report is positive as far as Cyprus is concerned.``

    ``From what I have read so far, they have not changed anything from the draft we had in mind. It contains several positive points. Some other points could have been more specific and more detailed regarding Turkey`s stance. But on the whole it is positive. It does not contain any suggestions,`` the President pointed out.

    He added that from what he has been informed from Brussels, ``the argument is that, since a period of time is given until early December for Turkey to comply, it would not be right to include messages now concerning what Turkey should do, because it would eliminate the message the Commission wishes to give, by allowing this short extension.``

    Asked if the government has been approached about the possible content of the suggestions or sanctions, President Papadopoulos pointed out that over the recent period there have been meetings and visits.

    ``This was the purpose. We have expressed our views, we have heard other views. I have repeatedly said that it is still not certain that the majority of the council of leaders will choose, as measures, sanctions against Turkey,`` he noted.

    [03] REHN REPORT TURKEY

    If there is a will there is the way to create a win-win situation for everybody in the Eastern Mediterranean, stressed EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn calling upon all member states and Turkey to focus all their energy and efforts to support the Finnish formula.

    Speaking at a press conference in Brussels after the release of the European Commission`s Progress Report for candidate countries and potential candidates, Rehn noted that for Turkey failure to implement its obligations will affect the overall progress in the negotiations.

    Turkey, he said has not fully implemented the additional Protocol of the Ankara Agreement, Rehn said, adding that it is expected to ensure full implementation on the Ankara Protocol and remove obstacles to the free movement of goods including restrictions of transport.


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