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Media Watch 2005

14 January 2005
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author:
Comment: The following article appeared in Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 14 January 2005.
Non-recognition unthinkable - MacShane
"The EDM, signed by members of Parliament by all three political parties, also calls on Britain ''to work closely with and to respect the rights of the Republic of Cyprus and its democratically-elected President Tassos Papadopoulos.'

BRITISH Minister for Europe Dennis MacShane says a situation in which there are two member states of the EU who do not recognise each other is unthinkable.

MacShane made this statement in written answer when asked by Labour MP Tom Cox whether Turkey will be required officially to recognise the existence of the Republic of Cyprus before it is granted membership of the European Union.

"As accession negotiations with Turkey progress, we expect that relations between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus will undergo a gradual process of normalisation. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and I have made it clear that a situation in which there are two member states of the EU who do not recognise each other is unthinkable," MacShane said.

The December Brussels summit decided to give Turkey an October 3 date to begin accession talks with the EU provided it signed the protocol expanding its customs union with all EU members, including the Republic of Cyprus.

Respect

Meanwhile, an early day motion (EDM), submitted at the House of Commons, calls on the British government to safeguard the interests of Cyprus in the forthcoming discussions on Turkey's possible membership to the EU and to resolve the issues of Cyprus" in which it can and should play a major role.''

The EDM, signed by members of Parliament by all three political parties, also calls on Britain ''to work closely with and to respect the rights of the Republic of Cyprus and its democratically-elected President Tassos Papadopoulos.''

The British government is urged to ''make very clear to Turkey that it is in its own best interest to recognise fully and quickly the existence of the Republic of Cyprus which is already a full member of the EU and to clearly work for the normalisation of its relationship with the Republic of Cyprus.''

Obligations

Moreover, the EDM calls on London to make very clear to Turkey that it should ''fulfil, as soon as possible, its obligations towards Cyprus as stated in the Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 17th December 2004 with regard to signing the Protocol for adaptation of the Ankara Agreement, taking account of the accession of the 10 new member states.''

The EDM notes that the EU has given approval to Turkey to enter into discussions as to possible membership of the Union and adds that the House of Commons ''is aware that the United Kingdom is a strong supporter of Turkey's membership''.

The motion is signed by MPs: Tom Cox, Edward O'Hara, Rudi Vis, Linda Perham, Alan Meale, Syd Rapson, Ann Cryer, Harry Cohen, Paul Flynn, David Drew (all Labour), Sir Sydney Chapman, David Amess (Conservative) and Andrew George (Lib Dems)."