The Republic of Cyprus has expressed satisfaction over the text of the European Council conclusions on Turkey.
Cyprus Government Spokesman, Kyriacos Koushos, said in a written statement that “under the circumstances, the text of the conclusions is assessed as being balanced and reflects our basic goals, both as regards the references and commitments of the EU on the Cyprus problem and the prerequisites and conditions with which Turkey must comply, so that EU – Turkey relations can improve.”
Koushos noted that the agreement on the text of the conclusions on Turkey was achieved late on Thursday evening after long and intensive deliberations and personal interventions by the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades.
“Under the circumstances the text of the conclusions is assessed as being balanced and reflects our basic goals as regards the references and commitments of the EU on the Cyprus problem and the prerequisites and conditions with which Turkey must comply, so that the EU – Turkey relations can improve. In any case, Turkey`s behaviour will continue to be evaluated all the way towards June`s European Council that will be called to examine the situation anew,” he added.
Koushos also said that “the Republic of Cyprus welcomes the crystal clear commitment of the EU in favour of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, particularly resolution 1251. Similarly, it endorses the fact that the EU refers once again to the significance of the Varosha status, as determined in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, particularly resolutions 550 and 789.”
The Spokesman noted that the reconfirmation of the EU commitment in undertaking an active role to efforts for a Cyprus settlement is particularly important. “EU presence ensures that a Cyprus settlement will abide by the values and principles of the Union, a member of which Cyprus is and will continue to be after its reunification. Turkey`s positive contribution in the new effort on the Cyprus problem basically becomes a precondition so that it will be possible to pave the way for positive developments in EU-Turkey relations,” he added.
Koushos said that the reaffirmation of the EU position for the need to create a stable and secure environment in the Eastern Mediterranean is essential, adding that the recent termination of illegal Turkish drilling operations, the repetition of the exploratory contacts between Greece and Turkey and the forthcoming talks on the Cyprus problem, under UN auspices, constitute a significant step towards this direction.
He went on to say that at the same time the EU “calls on Turkey to abstain from new provocations or unilateral actions violating the international law. In case that Turkey escalates tensions anew, the EU is ready to use the means and choices at its disposal, including sanctions, to defend the interests of its member states.”
Koushos noted that as regards the Customs Union, the discussion on which will take place in the future, it is crystal clear that it should be effectively implemented with all EU member states, including Cyprus.
As regards the migration issue, the Spokesman said that in the framework of the EU broader strategy it is underlined that cooperation on issues related to the protection of borders and illegal immigration, according the the EU-Turkey statement, must be enhanced and must be implemented without any discrimination, as well as the Readmission Agreement, which Turkey has not implemented so far, as regards the Republic of Cyprus.
The Republic of Cyprus expresses satisfaction over the text of the Conclusions, Koushos concluded.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Turkey does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state since 2004.