The Republic of Cyprus will not give its consent for upgrading the EU – Turkey Customs Union, if Ankara does not implement full and with no discrimination the existing agreement vis-a-vis the Republic of Cyprus as well, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Demetris Samuel has told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) invited to comment the report on Turkey adopted earlier this week by the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee with 47 votes in favour, 7 against and 10 abstentions.
Invited to comment the fact that in the text it adopted the EP Foreign Affairs Committee called for the formal suspension of Turkey’s EU accession talks, Samuel noted that this issue has not been discussed by the Council of the EU and does not constitute an official position of the EU and its member states.
“We have taken note of the draft report of the European Parliament on Turkey,” Samuel said, noting that the European Parliament clearly outlines the basis for a settlement of the Cyprus problem and notes that this must be in line with the international law and the acquis communautaire, and respect the principles on which the EU is based.
Moreover, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, the report calls on Turkey to begin withdrawing its troops from Cyprus and transfer the sealed-off area of Famagusta to the UN, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution 550”.
Samuel also said that Turkey is called to refrain from actions altering the demographic balance on the island through its policy of illegal settlements, and respect the sovereign rights of all EU member states, while the work of the Committee on Missing Persons is welcomed and Turkey is called to give relevant information from its military archives.
Moreover, Samuel said that the report expresses support to the upgrading of the EU-Turkey Customs Union, an issue on which, as he said “the position of the Republic of Cyprus is crystal clear and has been repeatedly conveyed, that we will not give our consent for the upgrading of the Customs Union, if Turkey does not first of all, fully and with no discrimination implement the existing agreement vis-à-vis the Republic of Cyprus as well.”
Turkey does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state since 2004. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory .