EU ball in Turkey’s court, says Greek envoy
BRUSSELS – Anadolu Agency
'Some chapters cannot be opened due to the fact that Turkey does not recognize one of the European Union's members,' Sotiropoulos said on Nov. 28, in reference to Greek Cyprus. AA photoGreece would be “happy” to open up a new chapter with Turkey during its upcoming rotating presidency of the European Union, but “the ball is in Turkey’s court,” according to the country’s EU envoy, Theodoros Sotiropoulos.
Sotiropoulos said Turkey was already prepared to open several chapters, but had not been able to do so because of domestic policies. “Some chapters cannot be opened due to the fact that Turkey does not recognize one of the European Union's members,” he said on Nov. 28, in reference to Greek Cyprus.
He said the union was willing to help despite the “strange” deadlock caused by the Cyprus issue. “It is very clear what Turkey needs to do to open up new chapters,” Sotiropoulos added.
The Greek ambassador also said that he believed that if the Cyprus issue was resolved, the EU would act positively toward Turkey’s accession ambitions, stressing the importance of "objectivity" in the expansion process. “We do want Turkey in Europe. We are all children of the expansion,” he said.
Sotiropoulos also called on Turkey to reconsider its take on the Readmission Agreement, which requires Turkey to accept the repatriation of the thousands of people who illegally migrated to European countries from Turkish territory. Turkey has so far been hesitant on agreeing to the deal.
Greece will take over the rotating EU presidency from Lithuania on Jan. 1.