Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has warned Turkey that if it continues to refuse to implement its EU obligations towards Cyprus, the opening of its accession chapters, frozen since December 2009, is not possible.
Invited to comment on statements made by Turkey’s Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis reiterating Turkey’s position on the assumption of the EU Presidency by Cyprus, Stephanou said that the successful achievement of this national target would upgrade the status of Cyprus both within the EU and the wider international arena.”
The Republic of Cyprus will successfully exercise the Presidency of the European Council in the second half of 2012 thus proving that even small countries like Cyprus, can run EU presidency efficiently, he said.
Turkey has threatened to freeze relations with the European Union if Cyprus is given the EU presidency in 2012.
He added that the EU must deal with statements made by the Turkish officials in relation to Cyprus EU Presidency, noting that the EU must warn Turkey that such behaviour damages its own European perspective and that it acts in a way that causes tension in the region, which is trying to bring into the European area.
Invited to comment on statements made by Turkey’s Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis urging the EU to persuade Cyprus to open Turkey’s EU Energy chapter, Stephanou said that energy is one of the chapters Cyprus has ‘frozen’ in December 2009 because Turkey refuses to implement its obligations towards Cyprus.
He made it clear that as long as Turley refuses to implement its obligations these chapters cannot be opened.
Cyprus position on this issue is that the energy chapter cannot be opened as long as Turkey threatens and is being provocative in relation to the explorations and efforts made by Cyprus to locate and exploit hydrocarbon deposits in its exclusive economic zone.
The EU will be the first to benefit if natural gas deposits are found and the Republic of Cyprus proceeds with their exploitation because as an EU member state, Cyprus can supply energy to the EU.
He also said that the issue of natural gas could serve as an incentive to solve the Cyprus problem, adding that Turkey could also benefit through partnerships and synergies with the reunited Federal Republic of Cyprus, that is if it decides to cooperate and work towards a Cyprus settlement based on UN resolutions that will end occupation of Cyprus.
Unfortunately, he concluded, Turkey continues to repeat itself, to threaten and be provocative.