The President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy have said that a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem was urgently needed.
Both EU officials discussed the Cyprus problem in Brussels with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan who said that Turkey was committed to doing its utmost in order to make progress in the talks for a Cyprus settlement.
Barroso and Van Rompuy emphasised the fact that a solution to the Cyprus problem would affect positively, Turkey’s application to join the EU.
Speaking at a joint press conference following the talks, Van Rompuy said that all parties would benefit. He also encouraged everyone involved in the talks to resume the negotiations as soon as possible.
EC President Barroso in his statements noted that a solution to the Cyprus issue would have a positive result on the EU-Turkey relations, adding that he has conveyed this message to the Cyprus political parties as well.
“We also agreed on the urgent need to find a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus issue. This is surely to our common interest, and a decisive move in this field would no doubt also be conducive to progress in Turkey’s wider relations with the European Union. Progress in this matter is of fundamental importance. This is a message that we have been conveying also to the parties in Cyprus”, he emphasised.
Prime Minister Erdogan said that Turkey was committed to proceeding in the right direction and would do its utmost to enable progress.
“We will continue in this direction with [President] Anastasiades, hoping that there will be a positive approach on behalf of Southern Cyprus, because this would be beneficial for all, for Cyprus, for Turkey as an EU candidate country”, he said.
Referring to Turkey’s EU course, Herman Van Rompuy said that there was progress in 2013 with the opening of a chapter in the accession talks, and hoped that this momentum would continue to enable Turkey to become a full member.
As regards the situation in Turkey, the President of the European Council said that he had asked Turkey to show respect to EU criteria, the rule of law and the distinction of powers. “Whatever the problems are, the solutions should respect the principles of the rule of law and the separation of powers,” Barroso stressed.
On his behalf, EC President Barroso said that EU and Turkey are close allies and it is absolutely critical that “we sustain and deepen our partnership, which is already so fruitful and beneficial for both sides and spans from trade and customs to political dialogue, from energy cooperation to counter-terrorism”.
“I would like to reiterate our gratitude for Turkey`s great efforts to host not only the refugees but also the European Union’s crisis response personnel, which helps us fulfil our role as the largest donor in this crisis,” he added.