FM: Turkey must ta­ble po­si­tions be­fore As­so­ci­a­tion Coun­cil meet­ing

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

For­eign Min­is­ter Ioan­nis Ka­soulides told the House For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee that he has sent a let­ter to Cather­ine Ashton, the EU’s High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for For­eign Af­fairs, clar­i­fy­ing that Cyprus will not con­sent to a Turkey-EU As­so­ci­a­tion Coun­cil meet­ing if Ankara’s po­si­tions are not com­mu­ni­cated to EU mem­ber states be­fore­hand.

“Each can­di­date state is obliged to ta­ble its views in time so that they can be made known to EU mem­ber states, al­low­ing the 28 to give the proper an­swers”, Ka­soulides said.

He added that Turkey had not tabled be­fore­hand the doc­u­ment it sub­mit­ted at the end of the EU-Turkey As­so­ci­a­tion Coun­cil dur­ing the EU Greek Pres­i­dency, in which Ankara talked about a “de­funct Repub­lic of Cyprus”.

Asked about the trans­port of wa­ter from Turkey to the oc­cu­pied north, Ka­soulides said “this is­sue is very dis­turb­ing” as Turkey is try­ing to make the oc­cu­pied ar­eas wholly de­pen­dent on Ankara.

Ka­soulides said he pre­pared a con­fi­den­tial re­port for the Cab­i­net on the is­sue and a min­is­te­rial com­mit­tee has been set up to ex­am­ine the con­se­quences of such a move. The Univer­sity of Cyprus is also pre­par­ing a re­port on the sci­en­tific con­se­quences of this de­vel­op­ment.

Re­gard­ing May’s de­ci­sion of the Euro­pean Court of Hu­man Rights urg­ing Turkey to pay mil­lions of eu­ros in com­pen­sa­tion to Cyprus with re­spect to hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions, Ka­soulides said that “we should not un­der­mine the sig­nif­i­cance of the de­ci­sion”.

Ac­cord­ing to the min­is­ter, the ECHR clarifies that Turkey is obliged to im­ple­ment the con­tents of the in­ter­state ap­peal re­gard­ing the prop­er­ties of the dis­placed, the miss­ing per­sons and their rel­a­tives as well as the en­claved (Greek Cypri­ots liv­ing in oc­cu­pied Cyprus) and at the same time de­mands com­pen­sa­tion.

He also said that the Repub­lic of Cyprus strongly ob­jects to Turkey’s can­di­dacy to be­come non-per­ma­nent mem­ber of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil. “We will fight this can­di­dacy.

Turkey can­not be­come a mem­ber of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil when it is oc­cu­py­ing half of Cyprus”, he stressed.

Ka­soulides said the open­ing of the en­ergy chap­ter dur­ing Turkey’s EU ac­ces­sion ne­go­ti­a­tions is out of the ques­tion for the mo­ment as Turkey continues to vi­o­late Cyprus’ EEZ. He pre­dicted that there will be more pres­sure in the com­ing months to open chap­ters 23 and 24.

Asked about the con­fi­dence build­ing mea­sures re­gard­ing the oc­cu­pied town of Fa­m­a­gusta, Ka­soulides said this is part of a pack­age deal. The re­turn of the fenced off area of Fa­m­a­gusta to its law­ful in­hab­i­tants, the Min­is­ter said, would sig­nal readi­ness to ex­am­ine le­gal ways for trade be­tween the Turk­ish oc­cu­pied north and the EU.

Ka­soulides an­nounced that Is­raeli For­eign Min­is­ter Avig­dor Lieber­man will visit Cyprus on July 24.

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