Füle was first received by KKTC President Derviş Eroğlu and Prime Minister and National Unity Party (UBP) leader İrsen Küçük. After those talks, he met with main opposition Republican Turks Party (CTP) leader Özkan Yorgancıoğlu. He did not hold any meetings with the press in the KKTC.
Füle also met with Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KKTO) members and attended the opening ceremony of the Bandabulya (Municipal Bazaar), restored under the auspices of an EU-financed Partnership for the Future of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Füle’s visit to both parts of the ethnically divided Mediterranean island comes weeks before the start of Greek Cyprus’s six-month term at the helm of the EU’s rotating presidency.
Füle, speaking at a press meeting at Nicosia in Greek Cyprus, said that every international actor should respect Greek Cyprus’s presidency, highlighting that the unsolved Cyprus problem could not undermine the presidential term.
The commissioner also highlighted that the ongoing negotiation period between the Greek and Turkish parts of the island does not have to be frozen during the Greek Cypriot presidency. Also, he claimed that a fair division of natural gas resources of the island could act as a catalyst to solve the Cyprus problem.
EU-Turkey Association Council convenes for 50th meeting
Meanwhile, Füle will attend the 50th meeting of the EU-Turkey Association Council on Friday in Brussels slated for Friday.
The council was established under the scope of the Ankara Agreement signed in 1963, which aimed at creating a customs union between Turkey and the European Economic Community (EEC) -- the precursor to the EU.
The council is the highest decision-making body for relations between the EU and Turkey. The Turkish delegation at the meeting will be headed by Turkish EU Affairs Minister and chief negotiator Egemen Bağış while Danish European Affairs Minister Nicolai Wammen will represent the EU Council and Füle will represent the European Commission.
The topics that will be covered in the meeting include the progress of the European Commission-led “positive agenda,” Turkey’s progress on the acquis communautaire criteria and visa liberalization -- which is the subject of a long-standing dispute between Turkey and the EU. During the meeting, the Turkish side is planning to deliver its demands on speeding up the removal of visa requirements, its inclusion in the consulting and decision-making of customs unions and the lifting of other political barriers to Turkey’s EU integration progress.