Central Asian countries were warned against accepting the north as an observer member of the Organisation of Turkic states (OTS) at a conference in Brussels on Wednesday, according to reports.
The north has been listed as an observer member of the OTS since last year, but European external action service (EEAS) Central Asia division head Dietmar Krissler explained that such a move would have to be ratified by the national parliaments of the OTS’s member states to be formalised.
He said that if such a move were to be made by the OTS’s Central Asian member states, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, there would be “negative effects,” EurActiv reported.
“For my region, the prospects for developing cooperation with [Central Asian countries] would very much depend on their future position, whether or not Northern Cyprus will effectively become an observer of the OTS”, he said.
He added that “we have to be very careful with our selection with whom we team up”.
Consequences of such a move, he said, could involve the European Union refusing to ratify Enhanced partnership and cooperation agreements with Central Asian countries. Such an agreement between the EU and Kazakhstan already exists, but Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have yet to sign such agreements.
Such agreements require the assent of all 27 EU member states, he pointed out, saying that “upgrading the status of [the north] through the OTS is a political issue susceptible to one of our member states” – the Republic of Cyprus.