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British MEP Michael Cashman, 'lift trade embargoes on the TRNC'

His warning comes after the Brussels Parliament voted against admitting Turkish Cypriot Observers and lifting trade-embargoes on the TRNC,in preparation for closer diplomatic ties with Turkey and Turkish Cypriots. Before the crucial vote, Greek MEP Eleni Koppa told the Socialist Group that Commission Chairman Stefan Fuhle thought it was not the right time to admit Turkish Cypriot observers.The Group duly rejected the idea, which was then voted down by the EU's Brussels Parliament.

But now, in a letter to Socialist Group Chairman Hannes Swoboda, Cashman says he has discussed the issue with Commissioner Fuhle's Cabinet.

They are "adamant" that Commissioner  Fuhle did not say  that 'now was not the right time', but that it was a question for Parliament to decide,not him.

And, says  Cashman, Commissioner Fuhle underlined the need to come to a  decision which was not"counterproductive",at a time when there are "many potentially positive elements to move forward our relations with Turkey and advance the comprehensive settlement of Cyprus".

Clearly concerned, MEP Cashman goes on to condemn Greek MEP Maria-Eleni Koppa for misleading the Group:"I believe such a distortion of the Commissioner's  words,which presumably influenced the outcome of our vote,is at the very least unfair,and most certainly could have damaged the relations of our Group with the Commissioner."  

And he reminds colleagues that, "in a plenary session last week during the debate on the Turkey report he,(Commissioner Fuhle) also made a clear remark that as far as settlement of Cyprus is concerned there should not be any taboos".

Following the vote against admitting Turkish Cypriot Observers, Liberal Democrat Sarah Ludford said Brussels had rejected " an important step towards respecting and enfranchising Turkish Cypriots".

  "I am angry that,instead of helping find a solution,too many MEPs have made the situation worse by taking their cue from the obstructive line of the Republic of Cyprus.It is particularly outrageous that an institution-the European Parliament- supposed to assist dialogue and compromise refuses to allow Turkish Cypriot voices to be heard in our debates."

 

in a letter to Socialist Group Chairman Hannes Swoboda, Cashman says he has discussed the issue with Commissioner Fuhle's Cabinet.

Cashman's Letter;

 Commissioner Füle and the Turkish Cypriot Observers

Dear Hannes,

I have had a discussion with Commissioner Füle's Head of Cabinet in order to clarify what was actually said last week and his position. You will remember our colleague Maria-Eleni Koppa stated during our Group discussion that the Commissioner believed that it was not the right time for 2 Turkish Cypriots observers to come to the EP.

 His Cabinet was adamant that the Commissioner did not say that he believed now was not the right time for 2 Turkish Cypriots observers to come to the EP.  What he said was that he was not in a position to give any recommendation at this point on the issue as it was solely to the European Parliament to decide who can and can not come as an observer.  He had also underlined that we needed to make sure that whatever decision is taken is not eventually counterproductive in the current situation when there are many potentially positive elements to move forward our relations with Turkey and advance the comprehensive settlement of Cyprus. In plenary last week during the debate on the Turkey report, he had also made a clear remark that as far as settlement of Cyprus is concerned there should not be any taboos.

 I believe such a distortion of the Commissioner's words , which presumably influenced the outcome of our vote, is at the very least unfair, and most certainly could have damaged the relations of our Group with the Commissioner.

Nevertheless, the Statement you made prior to the vote has been welcomed and it is vital that we ensure it is proceeded upon expeditiously,

Kind regards,  Michael

 

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