Tuesday

20th Feb 2018

EU leaders tell Turkey to 'respect' Cyprus

  • Gul: 'This will be a half-presidency leading a miserable union' (Photo: svenwerk)

EU leaders are planning to tell Turkey to "fully respect" Cyprus when it takes over the rotating presidency next year after Turkey threatened to boycott meetings.

"The EU council calls on EU partners to fully respect the role of the rotating presidency of the council, which is a fundamental institutional feature of the Union provided for in the treaty," the 27 countries are planning to say, according to draft summit conclusions circulated in Brussels on Thursay (8 December).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

An EU diplomatic source confirmed that the line refers to Nicosia and Ankara.

The statement comes after foreign ministers on Monday told Turkey to let Cyprus drill for oil in a part of the Mediterranean Sea also claimed by the largely unrecognised Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). They urged it to avoid "any kind of threat or action directed against a member state" and backed Cyprus' "sovereign right" to "exploit [its] natural resources."

Turkey has said it will not go to any meetings chaired by Cyprus in its role as EU chairman in late 2012 unless the frozen conflict on the island is settled first - a development which has eluded diplomats for 37 years.

"This will be a half-presidency leading a miserable union," Turkish President Abdullah Gul told press last month.

The oil communique already annoyed Ankara, which says Nicosia should share blame for any tensions because it went ahead without consulting the TRNC.

Meanwhile, Turkey's ambassador to the EU, Selim Kuneralp, told this website ahead of the EU summit that Cyprus is playing its own part in spoiling EU-Turkey meetings.

He noted that until Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, Turkish leaders and ministers used to come regularly to EU summits and councils. But when French foreign minister Alain Juppe last week invited Turkey's Ahmet Davutoglu to brief EU ministers on Syria "[EU foreign relations chief] Lady Ashton conducted a number of consultations with member states and the outcome was she did not find a consensus [to let him come]."

He added that Turkey has been asking the EU for the past year and a half to launch a new "structured dialogue" on foreign policy to no avail.

Instead, it gets frequent invitations to align itself with European External Action Service communiques on various topics at too short notice to respond.

"We are asked can you tell us within half an hour or one hour, or if you are lucky, one day, whether you are prepared to align yourself with this text, and it could be any subject under the sun ... It's not very satisfactory," he said.

The ambassador noted that one and a half years after the EEAS was launched, it has still not appointed a director to deal with Turkey, which is currently handled by a two person team - a head of unit and his deputy.

Cyprus-Turkey gas dispute escalates

Turkish vessel the Piri Reis has set sail to drill for gas in waters claimed by EU member Cyprus amid talk of a potential new military confrontation after 35 years of peace.

Cyprus gets set to referee EU budget talks

The incoming Cypriot presidency is getting ready to tackle the biggest and ugliest dossier in the EU - the money - amid problems in its own backyard.

EU warns Turkey over 'threat' to Cyprus

The European Commission called on Ankara to refrain from doing "damage to good neighbourly relations", after Turkish vessels stop a rig from reaching a gas drilling zone.

EU warns Turkey over 'threat' to Cyprus

The European Commission called on Ankara to refrain from doing "damage to good neighbourly relations", after Turkish vessels stop a rig from reaching a gas drilling zone.

News in Brief

  1. MEPs approve anti-smuggling bill on tobacco
  2. SPD members start voting on new Merkel-led government
  3. Barroso lobbied Katainen for Goldman Sachs
  4. Berlusconi's coalition ahead with 34.7% support
  5. Moscovici: Greece '99 percent' there to get new bailout
  6. Simone Veil to enter France's Pantheon in July
  7. German poll puts far-right AfD ahead of SPD for first time
  8. Commissioners poised to join EU-Mexico trade talks

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Climate ShowSupporting Start-Ups & SMEs in the Energy Transition. Tomorrow the Brussels Pre-Event
  2. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  3. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  4. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  6. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  7. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  8. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  10. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  11. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name
  12. Dialogue PlatformBeyond the Errors in the War on Terror: How to Fight Global Militarism - 22 February

Latest News

  1. Katainen explains: My friend Barroso did not lobby me
  2. A European budget: securing a prosperous future for Europe
  3. Poland wrong to log in ancient forest, says EU lawyer
  4. EU taxpayers risk bailing out MEP pension scheme
  5. Commissioner Katainen confirms Barroso lobbied him
  6. Eurogroup chief pledge on transparency after meeting MPs
  7. Poland shows no sign of concessions to Commission
  8. Spain's De Guindos to be ECB vice-president