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September 22nd, 2005, Statement of Mr. Namık Tan, the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the EU Counter Declaration (Unofficial Translation)

1. We regret that the EU made a counter declaration on 21 September 2005. The said declaration, the wording of which contradicts the spirit of the traditional cooperation that exists between Turkey and the EU for over 40 years, contains an unfair stance and some new elements. This declaration of unilateral and political nature might undermine the UN settlement process on Cyprus.  We cannot share this approach.

2. Turkey’s policy on Cyprus is known and clear.  It has been put on record once again yesterday by H.E. Minister Gül, in his address to the UN General Assembly.

3. Turkey has, on various occasions, expressed that it would fulfill all commitments emanating from the Ankara Agreement and the Additional Protocol to all EU member states in a non-discriminatory fashion.  As a matter of fact, the Ankara Agreement and the relevant decisions of the Association Council lay down various mechanisms for discussing problems which might arise during the implementation stage. Therefore, it is difficult to understand the intention to introduce new elements as regards the follow-up of the Protocol’s implementation.

4. On the other hand, it is a grave injustice that the existence, status, rights as well as the aspirations of the Turkish Cypriot people have been disregarded in the declaration. 

5. On this occasion, we would like to remind that the EU has certain responsibilities and undertakings to be fulfilled vis-à-vis  the Cyprus issue. These are:

Firstly, to actively support the UN Secretary General’s efforts directed towards finding a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus issue and to contribute to the preparation of the environment and conditions which will facilitate this process. In fact, this is an obligation stipulated in the EU Council decisions.

Secondly, to  honor the promises given to the Turkish Cypriots and to remove all embargoes and restrictions, in line with the commitment of the EU on 26 April 2004. In this regard, the regulations prepared by the Commission on Financial Assistance and Direct Trade should be implemented in full and without further delay.

Thirdly,  in conformity  with the appeals of the EU Council as well as the UN Secretary General, to support the package of proposals made by Turkey on 30 May 2005 regarding the simultaneous lifting of all restrictions on Cyprus by all relevant parties.