Greece obtains improved draft on Turkey from EU summit

Greece obtained improvements on two critical points regarding the conclusions for Turkey in Thursday’s first day of the European Union summit.

Kathimerini understands that with regard to Ankara’s de-escalation in recent months in the eastern Mediterranean, the phrase was added in the conclusions that it should be maintained “according to the statement of the members of the European Council on March 25, 2021”.

The original draft stated that the European Council welcomes the continuing de-escalation in the eastern Mediterranean.

In the second draft, the word “continued” in reference to de-escalation was removed. Instead, it added that de-escalation must be maintained.

Regarding the EU-Turkey customs association, it was added in the second draft that it must be implemented by Turkey in respect to all member-states. The draft was also more detailed in its critique of Turkey on the rule of law and human rights issues.

Moreover, in the paragraph on the Cyprus issue, the European Council explicitly states its full commitment to the solution of the bizonal, bicommunal federation, based on the relevant U.N. resolutions.

It also notes the importance of the fenced-off town of Varosha in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus and that its status must be respected by Turkey. The final conclusions were expected to be formally adopted at the leaders’ dinner.

(A version of this article was originally published by the Kathimerini newspaper and is reproduced by permission.