Athens Cites Negative Effects of ‘Customs Pact’ on Turkey’s EU Aspirations

ATHENS (ANA. CNA)-The Greek government on Saturday stressed that a deal between Turkey and the breakaway enclave of northern Cyprus to form a customs union is illegal and a severe breach of international law. Foreign Ministry spokesman Panayiotis Beglitis said the pact–which was signed on Friday between Ankara and the Turkish-Cypriot pseudo-state–is in breach of international law–the UN’s Charter–UN Security Council resolutions–as well as principles and resolutions of the European Union.

The Greek spokesman’said the pact also goes against the institutional framework of EU relations vis–vis the Cyprus Republic–as well as with Turkey proper–a current EU candidate-country. Beglitis noted that the illegal pact could have a negative impact on Turkey’s EU aspirations and on its candidacy assessment by the Union’s competent bodies.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island’s territory. An illegal state was declared in 1983-recognized by Ankara.

Cypriot political parties and Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos also strongly denounced the customs union. Speaking on August 11–after a memorial service for Greek Cypriots killed in the 1964 bombing of Tillyria by Turkish air force–President Papadopoulos said the agreement signed by Turkey and the bogus-state on Friday ”is empty of content,” noting that it is actually signed between Turkey and . . . Turkey.

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