House President says Cyprus will lift veto, if Turkey meets its obligations

House President says Cyprus will lift veto, if Turkey meets its obligations

Nicosia, October 21, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

Cyprus` veto relating to certain chapters in Turkey`s EU accession negotiations could be lifted if Ankara complies with the decisions of the European Council which provide for the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, opening of Turkish ports and airports to Cypriot vessels and air carriers and cooperation to solve the Cyprus problem, House President Yiannakis Omirou said on Wednesday.

In return for its help on the refugee crisis Turkey is seeking the opening of chapters blocked by Cyprus in its talks with the EU, Omirou said in statements to the press at the Parliament.

“The European Council decided in 2005 that in order for the Turkey-EU accession dialogue to continue, Turkey must fulfill certain obligations” he noted, adding that Turkey must recognize the Republic of Cyprus, open its ports and airports to Cypriot vessels and planes and cooperate so that a solution is found in the Cyprus problem based on the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the EU principles and values.

Therefore, Omirou stressed, the EU should not ask Cyprus to lift its veto, but it must implement the decisions of the European Council.

“If Turkey complies (with the decisions) then and only then will it be possible for Cyprus to lift its veto” he said.

Out of the 35 chapters Turkey must conclude as part of its accession negotiations, Cyprus has blocked six. France has also blocked four negotiating chapters.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN backed talks resumed in May aiming to reunite the island under a federal roof.

Source: CNA