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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-02-10

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The European Parliament has called on Turkey to immediately withdraw its occupation forces from Cyprus and facilitate the ongoing peace talks on a political settlement in Cyprus, as a necessary precondition for its EU accession course.

    The European Parliament adopted Wednesday a resolution on Turkeys Progress Report by show of hands. The resolution, which was based on a report drafted by Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten (EPP, NL), says that the Turkish Government should contribute ``in concrete terms`` to the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue, based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    By immediately starting the withdrawal of its forces from the northern part of the island and addressing the issue of settlements of Turkish citizens, Turkey would help ``facilitate a suitable climate for negotiations``, it is stated.

    The EP calls on the Turkish government to contribute in concrete terms to the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue, based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation, in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the principles on which the EU is founded.

    It also urges Turkey to facilitate a suitable climate for the Cyprus negotiations by immediately starting to withdraw its forces from Cyprus, by addressing the issue of the settlement of Turkish citizens on the island and by enabling the return of the sealed-off section of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants in compliance with resolution 550 (1984) of the UN Security Council.

    The EP deplores the non-implementation of the Additional Protocol to the EC-Turkey Association Agreement for the ``fourth consecutive year``.

    The report warns that failure to implement fully and without delay, in a non discriminatory way, the Additional Protocol to the EC-Turkey Association Agreement could seriously affect its accession negotiations.

    The MEPs also said that progress on concrete reforms remained limited in 2009.

    During the debate before the voting, Spanish Minister for European Affairs Lopez Garrido stressed that the implementation of the Additional Ankara Protocol constitutes a necessity for the continuation of the EU Turkey accession negotiations.

    If there is no progress on this, no more chapters can be opened, Garrido underlined.

    He also said that one of the decisive factors for Turkeys assessment includes its contribution to the efforts to reach a solution in Cyprus.

    New EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule said that the Commission offers financial aid amounting 259 million euro for the Turkish Cypriot community and works for Cyprus reunification.

    He underscored that Turkey must do more for its EU accession.

    Five years ago Turkey undertook serious commitments for democratization. Today, we are concerned about the limitations towards the Media and the ban of political parties, the Czech Commissioner said.

    Turkey, he went on to add, must make more efforts towards democratization, respect of human rights and individual rights implement all it has promised especially as regards border control and readmission of immigrants.

    In the resolution MEPs regret the Constitutional Court`s decisions to close the Democratic Society Party (DTP), and to annul the legislation limiting the jurisdiction of military courts. They say these are ``a serious setback in Turkey`s reform efforts`` and therefore call for the Constitution to be reformed.

    As positive news from Ankara, MEPs cite the broad public debate on issues within the so-called democratic opening, and a law removing restrictions on broadcasting in Kurdish.

    They also appreciate the diplomatic efforts made to normalise relations with Armenia but ask that the relevant protocols be ratified. In addition, they acknowledge Turkey`s role in regional security (Black Sea and Middle-East).

    MEPs welcome the Signing of the Nabucco Pipeline agreement and call for the opening of the energy chapter in the accession negotiations. Twelve out of the 35 chapters have so far been opened. The environment chapter was opened in December 2009.

    The Republic of Cyprus entered the EU in May 2004. Turkey, which aspires to become a full EU member state, invaded Cyprus in 1974 and still holds 37% of Cyprus` territory.

    Turkey, is the only country in the world which refuses to recognise the Republic of Cyprus and does not meet its EU obligations, one of which is the opening of its ports and airports to Cypriot ship and vessel.


    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias will participate in the Informal Council of heads of state or government of the European Union that begins on Thursday.

    According to the Spanish Presidency of the EU, the leaders of the Union will meet in Brussels to seek a commitment towards implementing a revitalised economic strategy to boost employment and growth in the EU.

    President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy has called this extraordinary meeting to allow the twenty-seven member states to analyse their economic plans for the coming years.


    The UN focus on the Cyprus talks and their continuation, UN Secretary Generals Spokesman Martin Nesirky has said.

    Invited Wednesday to say whether the withdrawal from the Cypriot government coalition of the Social Democrats Movement EDEK will affect the ongoing Cyprus talks, he declined from commenting, saying that ``I dont have anything to say about the fate of the coalition and who is leaving or who is not leaving``.

    ``What I can say is that our focus is very firmly on the talks that have been taking place, and that will continue. Much more importantly, Mr. Christofias has said very clearly that those talks will be continuing, he noted.

    Invited to comment on the negative impact of UNSGs visit to the so- called presidential palace in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, and the red carpet welcome, he said all I can tell you is that I was there and I didnt see any red carpet being rolled out.

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