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Cyprus to block Turkey MoU entry 30 avril 2007

Posted by Acturca in EU / UE, South East Europe / Europe du Sud-Est, Turkey / Turquie.
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Lloyd’s List (UK), April 26, 2007 Thursday

Nigel Lowry in Athens

Cyprus will « definitely » bid to block Turkey’s application to become a co-operative member of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control.

Turkey’s candidacy, which if successful would make it a member of three port state control regions (it is already a member of the Mediterranean and Black Sea MoUs), is likely to come to a head at the 40th executive committee meeting of the Paris MoU next month.

But it is also understood to have been raised at a preparatory meeting held yesterday in Brussels. A senior Cypriot maritime source verified to Lloyd’s List that his government has just protested to the European Commission, which is understood to be supportive of Turkey’s candidacy.

This was sent this week while a speech by senior Cypriot marine surveyor Andreas Constantinou at a conference in Greece also underlined that Cyprus will strive to keep Turkey out of the Paris MoU at this stage.

Capt Constantinou said that under its articles, candidate coastal states could become members of the Paris MoU only « with the consent of all authorities » participating in the regime.

He acknowledged that there could be clashes over Cyprus’s move.

But he stated: « It makes no sense for Cyprus to consider giving its consent for the accession of another country while that country unilaterally prohibits Cypriot ships from calling at its ports. »

There were « multiple grounds » for objection, Capt Constantinou claimed.

One of the other arguments Cyprus may advance is Turkish hyperactivity in detaining tonnage under the Mediterranean MoU, which came in for criticism by Capt Constantinou at the Athens conference.

Tension between Turkey and Cyprus has already spilled over into various European policy debates, while the long running ban on Cypriot ships in Turkish ports threatens to hold up negotiations on Turkey’s overall EU membership candidacy. Capt Constantinou did not rule out the benefits for maritime safety of « a future accession of Turkey to the Paris MoU ».


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