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Media Watch 2006

22 September 2006
Source: Cyprus News Agency
Author:
Comment: The following is a report of the Cyprus News Agency of 22 September 2006.
Papadopoulos–EU–Turkey
"Finland accepts Cyprus' positions, which have been adopted by the EU, that Turkey's obligations towards the EU do not depend on any developments regarding the Cyprus problem."

"The Republic of Cyprus does not seek to create a crisis in EU-Turkey relations, but insists that Ankara's obligations towards the EU must not be linked with developments regarding the Cyprus problem, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos has stressed.

In statements on his arrival from New York where he addressed the UN General Assembly, President Papadopoulos said that the Finnish EU Presidency has undertaken a fresh initiative regarding Turkey's compliance with its EU obligations.

He added that Finland accepts Cyprus' positions, which have been adopted by the EU, that Turkey's obligations towards the EU do not depend on any developments regarding the Cyprus problem.

President Papadopoulos said that the lifting of the so called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots is not related with the efforts regarding the implementation on behalf of Turkey of the Customs Union Protocol, which provides for the opening of all Turkish ports and airports to all new EU member states, including the Republic of Cyprus.

Turkey refuses so far to open its borders to Cyprus and thus implement the Customs Union Protocol.

"We do not seek to create a crisis in EU-Turkey relations. But we strongly insist that Turkey's obligations cannot be linked with any developments in the Cyprus problem," he noted.

"We concentrate our efforts on achieving the return of the fenced off city of Varosha and opening the Famagusta port under EU supervision. This involves other actions and political issues as well, on which Finland is trying to reach consensus with various proposals," President Papadopoulos added.

So far, he said, there does not seem to be a favourable climate for the realisation of Finland's efforts.

However, the President added that the Cypriot government's proposals regarding Famagusta are one of the main issues that the EU will use to test Turkey's will for the reunification of Cyprus and the restriction of the consequences of the Turkish occupation and invasion."