Greek coalition partner says austerity cuts not yet agreed

Turkey has to fulfill its obligations, as the Ankara Protocol describes, and open its ports to Cyprus, Coordinator on the Cyprus problem of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, Mechtild Rothe, said here today.

In statements, after being received by the President of the Cyprus Republic, Demetris Christofias, at the Presidential Palace here today, Rothe said she was 'delighted to have, again, a meeting with President Christofias and, again to hear that he is committed to a solution of the Cyprus problem.'

Rothe added 'there are some barriers to be overcome and, after 35 years of division, it is clear that this is the case, but I see there is a strong will to move them and I will go back tomorrow with a lot of optimism.'

'I am very optimistic,' Rothe said, 'it is possible to find a solution for this wonderful island and it is the first time the two leaders have committed themselves to a solution and that is a very special situation.''

'Sometimes,' Rothe said, 'I have the feeling that all the people are thinking only about difficulties, but I think it is important to seize the chance which is there and, I think, it is possible and I am very happy to help.'

Replying to a question about Turkey's evaluation this month, Rothe said 'it is important that there is a change in Turkey concerning the unity of Cyprus.'

As Rothe said, 'there is another point, that Turkey's wish to join the EU and I say and I always said Turkey has to fulfill its obligations and therefore Turkey has to open its ports, for example, because it belongs to the Ankara Protocol and this is clear.'

'I think the European Union must make it clear to Turkey to do that,' Rothe said, adding 'there are two things' for her and 'at the top of the agenda is the solution of the Cyprus problem and the second is what is Turkey doing to find its way into the European Union,'' which is something that ''it will last for 4-10 years or more.'

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus and has so far refused to comply with its EU obligations towards Nicosia.

Financial Mirror, December 01, 2009
|||Turkey has to open its ports to Cyprus, Rothe says
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