Members of the Bureau of the European Parliament delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) have said they deeply regret that no further meetings will be held in 2012 after Turkey rejected the delegation’s proposal due to Greek Cyprus’ participation.

A press statement released on Friday said the Turkish side was responsible for missing the opportunity for an inter-parliamentary political dialogue and this is particularly significant in a period in which positive parliamentary input is desperately needed to get EU-Turkey relations back on the right track.

European Parliament members Hélène Flautre, Marie Eleni Koppa and Georgios Koumoutsakos met in ?stanbul with their Turkish counterparts on Nov. 9 and the statement said the purpose of this joint meeting was to discuss and agree on the agenda of the forthcoming 70th EU-Turkey JPC meeting, the third in 2012, to be held before the end of this year in Turkey.

The members proposed holding the meeting between Dec. 19-21 in ?stanbul or Ankara and inviting, as laid down in the Rules of Procedure of the JPC, a high representative of the European Commission, as well as a high representative of the rotating presidency of the European Union — currently held by Greek Cyprus.

The statement said that as Turkey does not recognize Greek Cyprus and has no diplomatic relations with it, the Turkish Bureau members rejected this proposal, despite the insistence of the EP Bureau members, and proposed to have the 70th JPC meeting in early 2013 in Turkey with the participation of the EU Presidency, to be held by Ireland in the first semester of 2013.

“All EP Bureau members agreed that this was unacceptable and called on the Turkish authorities to finally respect the dispositions of Protocol 10 of the Ankara Treaty by establishing normal relations with the Republic of Cyprus,” the statement said.

The statement concluded that the Turkish side opposed this demand based on its views on the Cyprus issue.

ref: http://www.todayszaman.com