Press release by Neoklis Sylikiotis,
AKEL MEP and GUE/NGL Vice-President

The upgrading of the EU-Turkey customs union with the EPP’s blessing is unacceptable

12 March 2019

“It is unacceptable that the upgrading of the EU-Turkey customs union is being demanded when Turkey is refusing to comply with the full and non-discriminatory implementation of its obligations stemming from the current agreement, as well as refusing to recognize the Republic of Cyprus. The European People’s Party (EPP), in a demonstration of populism, is proposing the termination of the accession negotiations at the same time as taking a position in favour of the upgrading of the customs union without any preconditions. We urge you to vote against the proposal for the unconditional upgrading of the customs union as you are violating the EU’s Treaty of Functioning and every notion of law.” This was stressed by AKEL MEP N. Sylikiotis in his intervention in the plenary session of the European Parliament, in the presence of the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn. The subject of the discussion was Turkey’s progress report for 2018.

Speaking on behalf of the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left N. Sylikiotis pointed out that Turkey continues to violate the human rights and fundamental freedoms of its people, while it is illegally and through the force of arms occupying the territories of an EU member state.

The AKEL MEP called on the EU to exert its pressure on Turkey so that it implements all its Cyprus-related obligations; ends its illegal activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus; withdraws the occupying army from Cyprus; implements UN resolution 550 for the return of Famagusta; ends the ongoing colonization and contributes in practice towards the solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of a Bi-zonal, Bi-communal Federation, as defined in the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

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