FM Visits Hungary Amid Direct Trade Concerns
Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou is visiting current EU presidency Hungary amid concerns that a proposed direct trade regulation between the EU and Turkish-Cypriot community will be revived.
"We have been assured by the government of Hungary that, as the presiding country of the European Union, nothing is going to happen that Cyprus is not in agreement with, and of course, that nothing will happen to surprise the Republic of Cyprus," said Government Spokesman Stefanos Stefanou commenting on the issue.
The Hungarian EU presidency would "certainly not have raised the theme of direct trade," said Stefanou.
N. Cyprus Not Third Country - MEPs
In October 2010, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) said that EU trade with the northern part of Cyprus should be governed directly by EU single market and customs union rules, and not by the EU's rules for trade with third countries.
"Possible trade with the northern part of Cyprus based on article 207 of the Lisbon Treaty on international trade would wrongly imply that it is not part of the EU," said the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee.
The EU has always considered Cyprus to have joined the EU as a whole, but upon accession by Cyprus in 2004, EU legislation was temporarily suspended in the areas not under the effective control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus.
Direct trade between the EU and Turkish Cypriots is opposed by the government, which says that it is the only authority that can tax and control trade on the island. The issue is part of the bigger picture of Turkey's EU accession talks; eight chapters of which which are blocked by Cyprus and the EU on the grounds that Turkey refuses to recognise the Republic of Cyprus as the country's legal administration.
Its refusal to recognise Cyprus and allow Cyprus-flagged traffic into its ports has been criticised by the EU, but Turkey remains adamant that unless the Turkish-Cypriot community's isolation is lifted through direct trade with the EU, it will not normalise relations with Cyprus.
Turkey is the only country in the world that recognises and supports the unilaterally-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.