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20 July, 2024
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Cyprus dispute: A barrier to EU-Turkey future

Minister Kombos emphasizes Cyprus' significance for Turkey's European ambitions

Newsroom / CNA

Turkey’s aspirations regarding Europe “pass through Cyprus”, Foreign Affairs Minister Constantinos Kombos said upon his arrival to the Foreign Affairs Council of the EU in Brussels, on Thursday, underlining also that Turkey’s assessment can only be benchmark oriented.

EU - Turkey relations are one of the main issues on the agenda of the Foreign Ministers and are set to be discussed during a working lunch.

“There are several important and interconnected issues on the agenda today, ranging from Ukraine, the state of the US - EU relation, and China,” Kombos said.

Referring to the discussion on the future of EU-Turkey relations, the Foreign Minister pointed out that “for Cyprus, that future has a very specific past.”

“Turkey's assessment can only be benchmark oriented, merit-based, phased, proportionate, and subject to established conditionalities. This is what the European Council has repeatedly concluded,” he added.

“Moreover, Turkey's aspirations pass through Cyprus. We expect the speedy resumption of substantive negotiations leading to a solution to the Cyprus problem,” he noted.

“Today is a difficult day for us. It marks 49 years since Turkey's invasion of Cyprus. That is 17,987 days. This has to stop,” he concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Cyprus  |  Turkey  |  Europe  |  minister

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