January 17, 2019

Foreign Minister calls on Turkey to fully respect the role of the Cyprus Presidency of the EU Council

In regard to the statement yesterday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, during a Press conference in the presence of the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Catherine Ashton, and the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Mr Stefan Füle, according to which “…the relations and contacts with the EU will continue, but none of the Ministries or Institutions of the Turkish Republic will be in contact with the EU Presidency in any of the activities related to the Greek Cypriot Presidency…”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, underlined again that Turkey’s provocative and unacceptable stance on this issue has been answered unequivocally by the European Union, through its General Affairs Council conclusions on 5 December 2011 and its European Council conclusions on 9 December.

The Minister recalled specifically that the European Council expressed “…serious concern with regard to Turkish statements and threats”, and called for “…full respect for the role of the Presidency of the Council, which is a fundamental institutional feature of the EU provided for in the Treaty…”.

Dr. Marcoullis called upon Turkey, as a candidate for accession, to heed the European Union’s crystal clear exhortations, which were renewed by the President of the European Council, Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, while in Nicosia on 28 May, and to comply at long last with its overall obligations vis-à-vis the Union, instead of employing counterproductive policies, which in the final analysis undermine its own position and its relations with the EU. She also reminded Mr Davutoğlu that no one has ever benefited from an empty chair policy, noting that only Turkey stands to lose through its unacceptable stance.

By way of conclusion, the Minister reiterated that, despite Turkey’s threats, the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU intends to deal with the issue of EU – Turkey relations objectively and on the basis of the same criteria as for all other candidates for accession, while also noting that achieving any kind of progress depends for the most part on Turkey itself.