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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-12-08

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs expressed their regret on Monday for Turkey`s failure to implement the additional protocol to the Ankara Agreement, and called on Ankara to take urgent measures in that direction and to normalise its relationship with the Republic of Cyprus.

    Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou expressed his total satisfaction for the conclusions regarding EU enlargement, approved by the General Affairs Council, and congratulated the French presidency for managing to present such a balanced text.

    The conclusions point out the necessity to fulfill all criteria and note that every candidate country is assessed on its own performance. They add that the progress rate of negotiations depended on the rate of reforms and harmonisation with the acquis communautaire.

    Regarding Cyprus, Kyprianou said that "the references in the text satisfy us and are fortified compared to previous conclusions."

    He added that the Council expresses regret because Turkey has not yet met its obligations regarding the full and without discrimination implementation of the additional protocol and because no progress has been made in the normalisation of its relationship with the Republic of Cyprus. The 27 EU members point out that they expect urgent progress on behalf of Turkey on these issues.

    The Council will continue to monitor and assess Turkey`s progress on the issues included in the EU Statement of 21 September 2005, based on the Council Conclusions of December 2006, Kyprianou said.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Kyprianou described as especially satisfactory the references for the urgent fulfillment of Turkey`s obligations and the just solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

    The Council expects Turkey to actively support the negotiating process aiming at a just, comprehensive and viable settlement, based on relevant UN Security Council resolutions and EU principles. The reference to UN Security Council resolutions is especially important, since it leaves no room for misinterpretation of the form of the solution.

    Turkey is also called on to take specific measures in order to establish a positive climate for the progress of the negotiations.

    Kyprianou said another important factor was the Council`s encouragement towards Turkey to avoid any threat, friction or action that may adversely affect the good neighbourly relations and the peaceful settlement of differences. This, he pointed out, was significant for Cyprus, given the recent provocative actions by Turkey in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus.

    Regarding Turkey`s EU accession course, the Council expresses disappointment over the fact that in 2008 limited reforms took place, and calls on Turkey to step up the process, especially in the sectors of human rights, with special reference to women`s rights, and freedom of expression and religion.

    Concluding his remarks, Kyprianou said that the opening and temporary closing of negotiating chapters occurred according to the existing procedures and the December 2006 Conclusions, which explicitly determine what must precede the closing of any chapter for Turkey, namely that Turkey must fully and without discrimination meet its obligations emanating from the additional protocol and must lift the restrictions against the Republic of Cyprus.

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