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Cyprus rejects the European Commission`s interpretation on whether Turkey has fulfilled 65 of the 72 prior actions for visa liberalization with the EU, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said in his intervention at the EU General Affairs Council, which took place on Tuesday in Luxembourg.

 

Referring to the third Commission report on the implementation of the EU-Turkey Agreement, the Minister pointed out that Cyprus considers that criteria 4, 22, 44, and 49 related to Justice and Home Affairs have not been fulfilled by Turkey.

 

He also made it clear to the Foreign Ministers, that Cyprus disagrees with the European Commission`s interpretation that Turkey partly fulfills criteria 47 and 68, and stressed that “it is not possible for these criteria to be considered fulfilled, while Turkey does not cooperate with Cyprus in these areas.”

 

“It is obvious”, Kasoulides added, “that the Commission`s interpretation is contrary to the principle enshrined in the Roadmap, which concerns the indiscriminate fulfillment of all criteria vis-a-vis all EU member states”.

 

“We will continue to closely monitor developments in relation to the implementation of the Roadmap and reserve the right to act accordingly in the absence of complete fulfillment of the criteria by Turkey”, Kasoulides concluded.

 

Apart from the EU – Turkey Agreement, the Council also discussed the preparation of the European Council on October 20 and 21 and the mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).

 

During the debate on the “Roadmap of Bratislava”, the Minister expressed Cyprus` support, noting, in relation to EU-NATO cooperation, the importance of the observance of the principle of non-exclusion of any EU member state, under this cooperation scheme.

 

Referring to EU-Russia relations, the Minister stressed that realism should prevail, so that channels of dialogue can remain open “between the Union and this important country”. In this context he expressed his support to a potential visit by the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini to Moscow.

 

Kasoulidis also represented Cyprus at the extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council on Trade, which exclusively focused on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its member states.

 

In his speech, Kasoulides expressed Cyprus` support to this agreement, expressing hope that the remaining problems will be dealt with, in order for the agreement to be signed during the EU-Canada summit to be held on 27 October in Brussels.

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