The European Commission has called on Turkey to implement the provisions of the Ankara Protocol before any of the frozen chapters can be opened, according to the annual progress report on its accession course.
The EC noted that Turkey continued to express support for the talks on the Cyprus settlement between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and for the efforts of the UN Secretary-General`s Special Adviser, stating that “Turkey`s commitment and contribution in concrete terms to this comprehensive settlement remains crucial”.
However, it clarifies, that “Turkey has still not fulfilled its obligation to ensure full and non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement and has not removed all obstacles to the free movement of goods, including restrictions on direct transport links with Cyprus”.
The progress report clearly indicates that “there was no progress on normalising bilateral relations with the Republic of Cyprus” and that “the conclusions on Turkey that were adopted by the Council (General Affairs and External Relations) on 11 December 2006 and endorsed by the European Council in December 2006 remain in force”.
They stipulate that negotiations will not be opened on eight chapters relating to Turkey`s restrictions regarding the Republic of Cyprus and no chapter will be provisionally closed until the Commission confirms that Turkey has fully implemented the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement.
The EC states that Turkey needs to commit itself unequivocally to good neighbourly relations, international agreements, and to the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the United Nations Charter, having recourse, if necessary, to the International Court of Justice.
In this context, the EU expressed once again serious concern and urged Turkey to avoid any kind of threat or action directed against a Member State, or source of friction or actions that damages good neighbourly relations and the peaceful settlement of disputes.