Turkish government not to choose between Cyprus and EU justice minister

Iran Materials 12 December 2006 16:46 (UTC +04:00)

(Cihan) - "This (Turkish) government is not going to have to choose between Cyprus on one side or the European Union on the other," Turkish Justice Minister and government spokesman Cemil Cicek told reporters in a press briefing in Ankara following the cabinet meeting on Monday.

On Monday, the European Union ministers came together in Brussels and reached a deal to suspend of eight out of 35 chapters of the membership talks with Turkey "as a response to Ankara's failure to fulfill its trade obligations to the Greek Cyprus".

Cicek emphasized that the aim of the European Union was the continuation of the modernization project of Turkey and that patience was required throughout the process. Turkey had passed an important threshold and became a negotiator in the accession talks, Cicek stated adding that the process was not an easy one, reports Trend.

Ankara has maintained that the Cyprus issue is not Turkey's to resolve, and has insisted that the EU first end the economic isolation of Turkish Cypriots.

Government spokesman Cicek also stressed that the government showed the greatest efforts to reach a settlement for the Turkish Cyprus so far. He went on to say that the Turkish government was trying both to "keep Turkey's future clear and to protect the interests and rights of our Cypriot kinsmen."

In a concession to Turkey, EU foreign ministers signaled the need for the bloc to end the economic isolation of the breakaway Turkish-Cypriot state in the north of the divided island nation.

Asked about to comment on that the port opening proposal was not sufficient, Cicek said that there would be many comments till the weekend. "All we want is a just approach from the EU," he added.