The Cyprus government has expressed its satisfaction over the fact that the common position which the 28 EU member states adopted as regards the EU-Turkey Association Council includes important references on issues concerning Cyprus.
Expressing the government’s satisfaction, Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides, said in a written statement, that among others the EU common position welcomed the UN Secretary General’s efforts to resume negotiations for the reunification of Cyprus, and recalled, as stated in the Negotiating Framework, that it remains crucial that Turkey commits and contributes to the process and to a fair, comprehensive and viable settlement within the UN framework, in accordance with UNSC resolutions and in line with EU principles and the EU acquis.
Moreover, he noted, the EU urges Turkey to immediately lift all trade restrictions with all member states, including the Republic of Cyprus, in accordance with the Council Conclusions of December 11, 2016. This includes specifically the removal of all restrictions for ships with the Cyprus flag, the Minister said.
He went on to say that the common position includes extended and explicit references as regards the sovereign rights of EU member states and the situation in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). More specifically, it reiterates the serious concern of the EU and urges Turkey to avoid any threats and actions against member states, recalling that in March 2018 the European Council denounced the ongoing illegal Turkish actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea, and recalls Turkey’s obligation to respect the international law and the good neighbourhood relations and normalize its relations with all EU member states.
Furthermore, he noted, the EU underlines once again the sovereign rights of the EU member states, which include the right to conclude bilateral agreements and to explore and exploit their natural sources according to the EU acquis and the international law, including the UN Law of the Sea Convention.
The EU moreover underlines the need to respect the sovereignty of all member states over their respective territorial waters and airspace.
“The EU urges Turkey to show self-restraint and respect the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus in its territorial waters as well as the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in its EEZ and expresses deep concern for the recent Turkish statements about scheduled drillings there,” the Minister noted.
He said that the EU also calls on Turkey to refrain from such illegal actions, to which the EU would respond appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus.
The EU will continue to follow developments closely. Moreover, the common position includes a reference on the EU`s full support to the ongoing involvement of European companies in the Eastern Mediterranean, Christodoulides said.
He added that the common position also includes, inter alia, references to previous important for Cyprus European Council conclusions, to the need to normalize Turkey’s relations with the Republic of Cyprus, to the need to implement ECHR decisions and not to prohibit member states’ accession to international organizations, to fulfill the commitment of good neighborhood relations, to prevent the creation of a new immigration route to Cyprus and to the need for cooperation with all member states on the migration issue, including the full implementation of the EU -Turkey Readmission Agreement, to the need for judicial cooperation with all member states for solving flight safety issues in the southeastern Mediterranean on the basis of the international law, and for the full implementation of the current customs union vis-à-vis all member states.
Christodoulides also said that most of these references were also outlined to the Turkish side by EU officials, during the Association Council.
(Cyprus News Agency)