June 23, 2018

Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU will treat Turkey on an equal par with all other candidate states

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, commenting on recent statements by the Minister of European Affairs of Turkey, Mr Egemen Bagis, to the Turkish Kanal 7, on the positive agenda and the Cypriot Presidency of the Council of the EU, stated that the position of the EU is clear and unambiguous and there should be no misinterpretation. Specifically, the Foreign Minister stressed that both the Council of the EU and the European Council called on Turkey to respect the institutional role of the Presidency of the EU Council and therefore, Mr Bagis’ public statements and attitude is empty of substance and constitutes a mere repetition of a rhetoric that has been clearly rejected by the European Union and its institutions.

She additionally emphasized that the positive agenda is under no circumstances related to the process of opening or closing negotiating chapters. The opening and closing of negotiating chapters is the sole responsibility of the member states of the Union and all the related decisions are taken unanimously. In this regard, the General Affairs Council of the EU, on December 5, confirmed that the positive agenda should support the negotiation process, in line with the Negotiating Framework and the relevant Council conclusions.

Finally, the Minister noted that the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU will treat Turkey, a candidate for EU membership, with the same objectivity and following the same methodology and practice as for all other candidate states. The Minister of Foreign Affairs also underlined that the key for progress in its accession negotiations continues to lie exclusively with Turkey itself, through the fulfillment of its contractual obligations