Respect Greek Cyprus’ EU post: Socialist MP

Respect Greek Cyprus’ EU post: Socialist MP

Respect Greek Cyprus’ EU post: Socialist MP

Swoboda (L) calls on Turkey to make moves to push forward on its EU path. EPA photo

Turkey must respect Greek Cypriot Demetris Christofias in his capacity as the head of the country assuming the term presidency of the Council of the EU, the president of the European Parliament’s Socialists and Democrats (SD) group said yesterday.

“Turkey cannot expect compromises from Europe if it doesn’t respect the decisions of the EU,” Hannes Swoboda said following a meeting with Christofias in Nicosia that came less than two weeks before Greek Cyprus assumes the EU term presidency on July 1.

‘Does not only represent Cyprus’
“President Christofias is not representing only Cyprus, he is representing the union in these six months and this has to be respected by Turkey,” Greek Cypriot daily Cyprus Mail quoted him as saying. Swoboda said he was “disappointed” with the lack of respect shown by Turkey to Greek Cyprus and its upcoming Council of the EU presidency.

According to the daily, Swoboda called on Turkey to make moves to push forward its EU accession path, including actions that would aid the reunification of Cyprus. It was not possible for Turkey to demand more progress in its EU accession talks on the one hand while also blocking “even small steps forward” on aspects like the opening of Varosha, “which would constitute an important signal and sign of the readiness of Turkey and of the Turkish Cypriot community to go forward.”

In an interview with Turkish Policy Quarterly in its June edition, Christofias said Greek Cyprus would not use its upcoming status as EU term president to promote national interests. Turkey has said it will freeze relations with the EU when Greek Cyprus assumes the rotating presidency.