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Juncker says four freedoms not a bilateral issue (Updated)

The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker expressed his conviction on Thursday that Turkey’s demand that the four freedoms bestowed by the acquis be applied to Turkish nationals after a solution could not be accepted under any circumstances.

According to the Cyprus News Agency which quoted a representative of the European Commission, Juncker, who received President Nicos Anastasiades in Brussels, said that Turkey’s demand was not a bilateral issue, but a question concerning the whole of the EU, and that it would not be accepted under any circumstances.

Speaking after the meeting, Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said the Juncker-Anastasiades meeting had been very constructive and that the latter had stated his wish and readiness to resume the talks immediately.

“It was a shared opinion that any prospects for resolving the Cyprus problem will be explored at the negotiating table and in this framework, hope was expressed for the negotiations to resume soon,” he said.
“Further, and as it was expected, a discussion was held over the unacceptable Turkish demand over the four basic freedoms; a demand that under no circumstances can be accepted,” he added.

He also said it was hoped the Turkish side would soon return to the negotiating table so that all the committees related to the talks could also to restart their work.

Anastasiades is in Brussels for meetings and to participate in the European Council Summit and attend an informal European Council Summit for the Future of Europe. He is to also attend meetings of the European People’s Party.

During their 45-minute meeting, the two men also  discussed the decision of the Turkish Cypriot side to withdraw from the negotiating table last month. Brexit as also on the table with regard to the British Bases on the island and the safeguarding the rights of Cypriot citizens within the SBA. This concerns Article 3 of the Treaty of Accession of Cyprus to the EU on which president Anastasiades has prepared a letter to deliver to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk later in the day.

Anastasiades met on Wednesday with the new president of the European parliament Antonio Tajani, where they discussed among others, the Cyprus issue, with particular emphasis on the question of the viability of a settlement, the chapter of security and guarantees, as well as the role of the EU in the settlement negotiations.

Tajani, according to the CNA, expressed his conviction that the EU could act as a safeguard for both the solution’s viability and the security of Cypriot people in their entirety.

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