The Republic of Cyprus won’t agree to opening new chapters of Turkish EU accession negotiations if Ankara backs down on its promises.
In addition to negotiating substantial financial aid for helping Brussels deal with the refugee problem, Ankara demanded that EU open five new negotiating chapters and accelerate talks on Turkey’s accession to the bloc. However, Cyprus has frozen six negotiating chapters in the deal, including the ones which Ankara insisted on, demanding that the reunification issue be resolved first.
“When we resolve the problem, everything will be lifted,” Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said, stressing that the reunification of the Greek and Turkish halves of the island takes priority for Nicosia.
“EU’s Migrant Deal With Turkey Needs ‘Rebalancing’ Before Signing”, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiadis said during a meeting with EC President Donald Tusk, who’s touring the European capitals ahead of the upcoming EU summit on the migrant crisis, that Turkey must fulfill its obligations before Nicosia backs the agreement between Brussels and Ankara on the return and resettlement of refugees.
“Ι conveyed our position that the Republic of Cyprus does not intend to consent to the opening of any chapters, if Turkey does not fulfill its obligations as described in the Ankara Protocol,” Anastasiadis said, according to RIA Novosti.
He also specifically pointed out that Ankara must recognize the Republic of Cyprus, something that Turkey has adamantly refused to do since the partition of the island in 1974.
“We’ve always supported Turkey’s accession to the EU, provided that it fulfils its obligations,” Anastasiadis remarked.