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05 October, 2023
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Nicosia agrees with EU that Turkey should be a better neighbour

Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides supports enlargement but on conditions


Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides is expressing his appreciation for his EU counterparts, following a report by the General Affairs Council that calls on Turkey to be a better neighbour.

Christodoulides, who attended a meeting with other EU minister in Brussels, appeared to be in favour of a positive message towards EU candidate countries while putting emphasis on the principle of “conditionality” that should apply across the board.

The minister said that Cyprus supports the European prospect of the area in the Western Balkans, saying it was important to send a positive message to Albania and FYROM, while adding it was important that those messages be compatible with the EU principle of conditionality and ought to be applied to the accession process of all candidate countries.

Regarding Turkey, Christodoulides said the document conclusions reflect the concerns of all member states regarding the country’s accession path.

The EU ministers also agreed that Turkey should remain committed to a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus

“Cyprus supports the full membership of Turkey into the European Union,” said the minister, provided that Turkey fulfills all its obligations towards the Republic of Cyprus.

This support is also contingent upon Ankara complying with EU suggestions on human rights and the rule of law in that country, Christodoulides added.

He was speaking on the conclusions published Tuesday that called on Turkey to be a better neighbour.

“The Council continues to expect Turkey to unequivocally commit to good neighbourly relations, international agreements and to the peaceful settlement of disputes, having recourse, if necessary, to the International Court of Justice,” said the report.

The EU ministers also agreed that Turkey should remain committed to a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus and made specific suggestions.

“Turkey must avoid threats and actions that damage good neighbourly relations, normalise its relations with the Republic of Cyprus and respect the sovereignty of all EU Member States over their territorial sea and airspace as well as all their sovereign rights, including inter alia the right to explore and exploit natural resources, in accordance with EU and international law, including UNCLOS.”

The conclusions also reiterated EU's strong condemnation of the July 2016 coup in Turkey and expressed solidarity with the Turkish people.

“However, the disproportionate scale and scope of measures taken in its aftermath raise serious concern. The Council recalls the international standards and the obligations to which Turkey has subscribed and committed itself, and calls on Turkey to urgently reverse the negative trends.”

Finally, the conclusions reiterated the council’s view that Turkey was moving further away from the European Union.

“Turkey's accession negotiations have therefore effectively come to a standstill and no further chapters can be considered for opening or closing and no further work towards the modernisation of the EU-Turkey Customs Union is foreseen.”

Cyprus  |  EU  |  council  |  enlargement  |  Christodoulides  |  FYROM  |  Macedonia  |  Albania  |  Turkey  |  Cyprus problem

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