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Turkey’s attempts to exclude Cyprus’ membership

ΤURKEY΄S PERSISTENT VETOING OF CYPRUS MEMBERSHIP OR PARTICIPATION
IN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, ARRANGEMENTS, REGIMES
AND TREATIES –
TURKEY’S DENIAL TO COOPERATE WITH THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS IN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, ARRANGEMENTS, REGIMES
AND TREATIES
WEAPONS EXPORTS΄ CONTROL REGIMES

Missile Technology Control Regime - MTCR)

The MTCR is an informal and voluntary partnership between countries that share the goals of non-proliferation of unmanned delivery systems, capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. These countries seek to coordinate national export licensing efforts at preventing the proliferation οf such systems. The Regime which was established in 1987 consists of 34 member-states. New members are admitted by consensus. Cyprus applied for full membership on 10 July 2003.

Turkey exercised its veto against Cyprus’ application for membership in Copenhagen (2006), Athens (2007), Canberra (2008) and Rio (2009) plenary meetings of the Regime. During the 2011 and 2012 plenary meetings, which took place in Buenos Aires and Berlin respectively, the issue of Cyprus’ membership was not discussed.

The issue of Cyprus’ membership was also raised in the 2007 Paris Meeting of the Regime’s Reinforced Points of Contact (RPoC), where Turkey exercised its veto against Cyprus. This was again repeated in the next meeting in 2008. Paris was the venue of the 2011 Meeting of the Regime's RPoC during which the issue of membership was discussed. Turkey vetoed Cyprus' membership once more. Turkey vetoed Cyprus application also at the latest RPoC meeting in 2012.

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies was established in 1995 and came into force in 1996. The Arrangement’s Secretariat is based in Vienna. It is one of four multilateral export control regimes (the others being MTCR, NSG and the Australia Group, of which Cyprus is a member of the latter two) whose purpose is “to contribute to regional and international security and stability, by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilizing accommodations”. The Arrangement has 41 members and is open, on a global and non-discriminatory basis, to prospective adherents that comply with the agreed criteria. Admission of new participants is based on consensus. Cyprus first applied to become a full member on 27 July 2003.

Turkey is consecutively vetoing Cyprus΄ application to join the Wassenaar Arrangement during the General Working Group Meetings as well as during the Plenary Meetings of the Wassenaar Arrangement. Turkey, once again exercised its veto over Cyprus' application, despite a statement of support to its application by the EU and its Member States, at the latest General Working Group Meeting (Vienna, 15-17.10.2012) and again at the Arrangement's latest Plenary Meeting that took place in Vienna on 11-12 December 2012.

Turkey with its veto, disregards the unequivocal EU common position in support to Cyprus accession to Wassenaar Arrangement. Specifically, the European Union and its Member States have repeatedly reaffirmed their support for Cyprus’ application noting that it meets all the criteria.

INTERNATIONAL TREATIES

Open Skies Treaty

The Open Skies Treaty entered into force in January 2002, and covers territory from Vancouver to Vladivostok. The Treaty establishes a regime of unarmed aerial observation flights over the entire territory of its 34 signatories. It is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, the possibility to obtain information on military or other activities of concern to them. Open Skies is the most wide-ranging international effort to date to promote openness and transparency of military forces and their activities. The implementing body for the Treaty is the Open Skies Consultative Commission (OSCC). The OSCC meets regularly at the headquarters of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna, Austria.

Cyprus submitted its application for membership to the Open Skies Treaty in 2002. Since then, Turkey refuses to consent to Cyprus’ membership. Turkey repeated its position of non-acceptance of Cyprus' application to accede to the Open Skies Treaty most recently at the 60th meeting of the Open Skies Consultative Commission, in January 2013, where it was again on the agenda.

- Treaty of Amity and Co-operation in Southeast Asia (ASEAN/TAC)

The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in South East Asia is a cooperation pact between ASEAN members and their partners, which serves as a key instrument in governing inter-state relations and contributing to peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region. The treaty was signed in February 1976. Τhe parties to the TAC are the 10 ASEAN member states. The EU submitted an application to accede to the TAC on 7 December 2006. The process of accession took a long time because ASEAN had to amend - through a Third Protocol - the Treaty to enable "regional organizations" to accede. This Protocol has been signed in 2010, and entered into force on 12 June 2012.

Turkey on 26 April 2012 circulated a "Statement" with regard to the Third Protocol (dated 23 July 2010) amending the Treaty of Amity and Co-operation in Southeast Asia (ASEAN/TAC). Concerning the EU’s accession to the ASEAN/TAC, Turkey declares, in its statement, that she does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus and that she will not cooperate with her in the framework of the Treaty. This unacceptable stance was also marked by last-minute tactics by Turkey, presenting its "Statement" on the day before the EU was scheduled to sign the Third Protocol to TAC on 27th April 2012 at the EU–ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Brunei-Darussalam.

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

- Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation- BSEC)

The Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) was signed in Istanbul on 25 June 1992 and became a full-fledged regional economic organization on 1 May 1999, with the entry into force of its Charter. Its main goal is to promote the economic cooperation between the states that border the Black Sea. It has twelve member-states. Thirteen other states and four international organizations (including the European Commission since 2007) have observer status. The Charter of the Organization of 1992 provides for cooperation; inter alia, in the areas of trade and economic development, banking and finance, communications, energy, transport, agriculture and agro-industry. New members and observers are admitted by consensus.

Cyprus submitted its application for observer status in the BSEC in 1996 which was renewed in 2005. Regrettably, Turkey maintained its opposition to Cyprus΄ application for observer status at the discussions held in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2008 Cyprus’ application was not discussed. Nevertheless Cyprus interest for joining BSEC has not been withdrawn and the issue is raised in EU-BSEC meetings.

Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development – OECD

The OECD was established in 1961 as the successor to the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC), which had come into being in 1948. The OEEC had emerged from the Marshall Plan and the subsequent establishment of the Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA) for the economic reconstruction of Western Europe. The OECD provides a forum for maximizing economic development and employment within its member states, thus contributing to the world economy. The Organization has 34 members and is based in Paris. New members are admitted by the unanimous consent of the existing member states.

Cyprus΄ application for membership was vetoed by Turkey in 1995 and continues to be vetoed ever since. In January 2013, the Republic of Cyprus reconfirmed its firm interest and its candidature for membership of the OECD. It is also noted that Turkey continually poses obstacles to the participation of Cyprus and its cooperation with OECD subsidiary bodies.

Given the fact that in order to become a member of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Cyprus must be a member of the OECD, its participation in IEA is prevented by the Turkish veto.

- International Transport Forum (ITF)

The International Transport Forum at the OECD evolved from the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) in 2006/7. It is an intergovernmental organisation with 54 member countries. It acts as a strategic think tank for transport policy and organises annual ministerial meetings.

Cyprus submitted its application for membership to the ECMT in 1989. It was renewed in 2001, but was rejected due to Turkey’s veto. Cyprus΄ application for membership was again vetoed by Turkey at the Ministerial Conferences in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Due to the Turkish stance, Cyprus is not even invited in the annual meetings of the Conference, despite the fact that it is a member of the European Union and has repeatedly tabled its application for membership to it and has requested to participate as an observer in the deliberations of the Forum, until its accession as a full member.

International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies - CIHEAM

The International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies, CIHEAM, was founded at the joint initiative of the OECD and the Council of Europe on 21 May 1962 and now consists of 13 member countries from the Mediterranean Basin. The Centre is based in Paris. According to article 15 of this agreement, every country on the Mediterranean rim is potentially eligible for membership of CIHEAM.

Cyprus΄ application for membership has been vetoed by Turkey several times. In July 2010 the General Secretariat informed the Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus in Paris that Cyprus application was once again rejected due to Turkey’s stance.

Obstacles in the Development of Cooperation between the EU and NATO

Turkey uses as a preface the 2002 Copenhagen European Council Declaration regarding EU-NATO cooperation in the handling of crisis management and is constantly trying to expand the idea of “strategic partnership” to include anything that concerns EU-NATO relations. Furthermore, Turkey refuses to agree to the expansion of EU-NATO dialogue with the participation of Cyprus, based on the pretext that Cyprus has chosen not to participate in the Partnership for Peace, nor has it concluded a Security of classified information Agreement with NATO. The problems and complications in EU-NATO cooperation stem from the steadfast refusal of Turkey to accept that the EU consists of 27 member-states and that Cyprus constitutes an integral part of any EU cooperation with other international organizations.

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts –ECMWF

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent international organisation supported by 34 States and is based in the U.K. The Republic of Cyprus filed its application for membership in 1998. It was examined and rejected because of Turkey’s veto. In 2006 and 2007, Cyprus’ application was once again vetoed by Turkey. Cyprus’ interest to join ECMWF remains and in May 2012, this interest of Cyprus was again communicated to the Secretariat.

European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites - EUMETSAT

EUMETSAT is an intergovernmental organisation established in 1986 and currently has 26 Member States. Another 5 States have signed cooperation agreements with EUMETSAT. Its primary objective is to establish, maintain and exploit European systems of operational meteorological satellites. EUMETSAT is responsible for the launching and operation of satellites and for delivering satellite data to end-users, as well as contributing to the operational monitoring of climate and the detection of global climate changes. The activities of EUMETSAT contribute to the aims of a global meteorological satellite observing system, coordinated jointly with other space-faring nations.

In 2001, Cyprus expressed its interest to join EUMETSAT but the application did not progress because Turkey raises severe objections at the discussions held in the relevant bodies of the Organization. Without being a member state, Cyprus and EUMETSAT signed an agreement in 2004 for delivery (under conditions) of a certain amount of satellite data. Cyprus’ keen interest for joining EUMETSAT has not been withdrawn.

Economic Interest Grouping of the National Meteorological Services of the European Economic Area (EIG ECOMET)

EIG ECOMET was set up in 1995 to ensure fair competition in the field of meteorological services. Particularly, the ECOMET grouping reinforces the traditional relationships amongst the National Meteorological Services, and the developing relationships with the private sector within the relevant EU regulations. It has 25 members and is based in Brussels.

Turkey has expressed its opposition to the candidacy of the Republic of Cyprus to become a full member of the EIG ECOMET, ​​while in a vote held in the General Assembly on 27-28 January 2012, Turkey voted against the Cypriot candidacy. The Republic of Cyprus was however accepted as a member of the EIG ECOMET as the decision is taken by majority vote.

International Renewable Energy AgencyIRENA

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to renewable energy. IRENA was founded on 26 January 2009 in Bonn, Germany, by 75 States which signed its Statute. As of September 2012, IRENA participants include 158 States and the European Union (EU), out of which 100 States and the EU have ratified the Statute and are IRENA Members. In the framework of the 3rd General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) that took place in Abu Dhabi between 13-14 January 2013, the candidature of Cyprus (and Israel) for the agency’s Council for 2013-14, was vetoed by Turkey. Turkey’s veto was taken despite the unanimous agreement of all participating countries of Group A (Europe and others) and the European Union’s support and endorsement of the candidature of one of its Member States. As a result of the deadlock created by Turkey’s stance, the election of IRENA’s Council members for 2013-14 remains pending.

UNITED NATIONS

Conference on Disarmament – CD

The CD was established in 1978. It is a multilateral disarmament negotiating forum based in Geneva. It is a body of limited composition. It currently consists of 65 member states and takes its decisions on the basis of consensus. As regards the EU, Cyprus is not amongst the 16 of its member-states which are full members to the Conference.

In June 1996 the CD agreed to expand its membership and Cyprus submitted its application in September 1996. On 25 November 1996 Turkey disputed the right of the Republic of Cyprus to apply for membership. On 13 December 1996 the then Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cyprus in Geneva replied by also sending a letter to the then President of the CD in which he contested Turkey’s right to question the legality of the Republic of Cyprus.

Each year, at the opening of the Conference’s Session, Turkey issued a declaration amounting to a reservation in regard to Cyprus΄ legal status. Recently, Ankara’s tactic changed. On 25 January 2008, the Permanent Representative of Turkey in Geneva (who also presided over the Conference) circulated a letter to all the Member States and the Observers of the Conference, in which he expressed his country’s reservations at Cyprus΄ participation as an Observer. The Permanent Representative of Cyprus at Geneva, on his part, circulated a letter on 21 February 2008, in which he reiterated and stressed Cyprus΄ legal and legitimate right to participate as an observer in the aforementioned Conference. Turkey repeated its practice in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 to whose letter the Permanent Representative of Cyprus replied accordingly.


MULTILATERAL PARTNERSHIPS

Union for the Mediterranean

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) was launched on the 13th July 2008 at the Paris Summit as a continuation of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euro-Med), also known as the Barcelona Process, established at the Barcelona Conference in 1995. The UfM constitutes a framework for political, economic and social relations between the European Union and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Countries and is inspired by the goals set out in the Barcelona Declaration. It encompasses the 27 EU member states, the European Commission and 16 Mediterranean countries.

In the second half of 2012, Turkey refused any cooperation with the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union Cyprus and vetoed Cyprus’ attempts to reactivate the Union for Mediterranean at a vitally important time because of evolving changes in the region. In particular, Cyprus proposed holding various high-level meetings on core issues (tourism, education & research) but they were all blocked by Turkey.


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    (Last Update: 18/2/2013)

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