The European Commission’s annual report on Turkey’s EU accession process, presented in Brussels on Wednesday, stressed the need for a Cyprus settlement based on a bizonal bicommunal federation as the only solution that is acceptable by the EU.
Regarding the Cyprus problem, the communication accompanying the report underlined the importance that Turkey “commits and actively contributes to the negotiations for a fair, comprehensive and viable settlement of the Cyprus issue within the UN framework, on the basis of a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, and in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, as well as in line with the EU acquis and the principles on which the EU is founded”.
The conclusions of the communication also stressed it is important that Turkey “reaffirms its commitment to the UN-led settlement talks on Cyprus in line with the relevant UNSC resolutions, including their external aspects”.
The report also noted the fact that Turkey “continued to increase the militarisation of the occupied area by upgrading the military drone base in Lefkoniko and the naval base in Bogazi”, and made references to recent tensions in the area of Pyla and the situation in Varosha.
The Commission also pointed out that Turkey “repeatedly advocated a two-state solution in Cyprus, contrary to relevant UN Security Council Resolutions” during the reporting period, and took note of the decision of the Organisation of Turkic States to accept the Turkish Cypriot puppet regime as an observer. The report also stated that “any action to facilitate or assist in any way the international recognition of Turkish Cypriot secessionist entity severely damages efforts to create an environment conducive to resuming settlement talks under the auspices of the United Nations.”
Also, the report underlined that as emphasised in the Negotiating Framework and Council declarations, Turkey “is expected to actively support the negotiations on a fair, comprehensive and viable settlement of the Cyprus issue within the UN framework, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and in line with the principles on which the EU is founded and the EU acquis.”
The report recalled that in its June 2023 conclusions the European Council called “for the speedy resumption of negotiations and expressed its readiness to play an active role in supporting all stages of the UN-led process with all appropriate means at its disposal”.
In the report’s introductory paragraphs, the Commission noted that during the reporting period Turkey “did not engage in any unauthorised drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean”, but “continued to refuse to recognise the Republic of Cyprus and repeatedly advocated a two-state solution in Cyprus, contrary to relevant UN Security Council Resolutions”.
In the introductory section dealing with good neighbourly relations and regional cooperation, the report also also pointed out that “pursuing dialogue in good faith and abstaining from unilateral actions which run counter to the EU interests and violate international law and the sovereign rights of EU Member States is an essential requirement to ensure stable and secure environment in the Eastern Mediterranean and the development of a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship between the EU and Türkiye”.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.