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FM: EU in strong message to Turkey

June 27, 2018 at 7:31am
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The EU 28 has sent the message that no negotiating chapters will be opened with Turkey as long as it moves away from the EU, adding that Ankara’s accession path goes through fulfilling its European obligations without discrimination towards all Member States.

The message in contained in the text of the conclusions on the EU enlargement process adopted by EU Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg  on Tuesday evening.

In a written statement, Cyprus Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said the conclusions on Turkey adopted by the EU General Affairs Council contains strong messages about Turkey’s accession process and all its Cyprus related obligations.

He added that at same time, “Turkey’s key role in the efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem is confirmed, and for the first time in an EU conclusions text, Ankara’s responsibility for the external aspects of the Cyprus problem, namely security and guarantees, is reflected.”

The minister was participating in the General Affairs Council convening on Tuesday in Luxembourg today to prepare the EU Summit of the 28 and 29 June.

The Foreign Affairs Minister, referring to the conclusions adopted by the EU-28, stressed that “Turkey’s continuous refusal to apply the Additional Protocol without discrimination to all Member States is noted in the text which stresses that Turkey must smooth out its relations with the Republic of Cyprus” and “in this context the recognition of all Member States is necessary”.  A clear reference is also made to the Declaration of 21 September 2005″, concerning Turkey`s stance towards Cyprus.

Christodoulides further stresses that “the Conclusions also confirm the Council Conclusions of December 2006, which remain in force, regarding the non-opening and closing of chapters due to Turkey`s refusal to apply the Additional Protocol against of Cyprus”.

According to the Foreign Minister, “an important element is also the inclusion of an explicit reference to the need for Turkey to respect the sovereignty over the territorial waters and the national airspace of the Member States as well as their sovereign rights, inter alia, research and exploitation of their natural resources “.

As the Minister says in his message, “the Council also stresses that Turkey must avoid threats or actions against Member States and expresses its strong condemnation of Turkey`s illegal activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

“At the same time, there is an essential reference to the accession of the Member States of the Union to international organisations and to the need for Turkey to comply with all ECHR judgments in accordance with Article 46 of the ECHR,”  said  Christodoulides.

According to the Foreign Minister, “the text has been particularly strengthened in terms of Turkey’s role in the process of the Cyprus talks, and in particular on the external aspects of security and guarantees.”

Furthermore, the text adopted by the 28 states that “Turkey`s commitment and contribution to the efforts to achieve a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem remains crucial, while for the first time Turkey`s responsibility for the external aspects of the Cyprus issue emerge, with particular importance in the light of the outcome of the Crans Montana talks and the prospect of their resumption. ”

 “The EU reaffirms Turkey`s key role in the efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem, stressing that Turkey’s commitment and contribution on efforts to find a comprehensive solution is crucial,” the Foreign Minister stressed.

“At the same time, the EU`s stable position for a solution to the Cyprus problem is reaffirmed, within the framework of the UN, in line with the Security Council resolutions and the principles underpinning the EU and the acquis communautaire.”

Minister Christodoulides says that the Council “for the first time uses a verbal signal in the form of a warning to the candidate country that, while Turkey is moving further away from the EU, Brussels will not proceed to examine the opening of any new chapter nor will it the work on the modernization of the EU-Turkey customs union.”

“Finally, I would like to emphasize that, through the Conclusions, the EU sends a clear message to Ankara that its accession course goes through the fulfillment of its European obligations, without discrimination, vis-à-vis all the Member States of the Union. It is clear that Turkey`s European perspective depends exclusively on it,” the Foreign Minister concludes.