The EU-OIC joint forum cancelled [Archives:2004/779/Community]

October 7 2004

The joint forum of the foreign ministers from the European Union and the Organization for Islamic Conference (OIC), which was scheduled to be held in Istanbul on October 4-5, was cancelled.
The EU term president country The Netherlands boycotted the joint forum as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was participating as the Cyprus Turkish State.
On Friday the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the EU-OIC joint forum was cancelled. The statement said that the EU term presidency objected to TRNC's observer status in the joint forum as the Cyprus Turkish state.
“The Current President of the European Union has informed the host country that they will not participate in the Forum in objection to the participation of the Turkish Cypriots as the 'Turkish Cypriot State'.” said the statement.
“The decision by the EU Presidency not to participate in the Forum, and the call it made to other member states to this effect, has resulted in the cancellation of the Foreign Ministers meeting, whose objectives were not political. The meeting was aimed to provide opportunities to discuss mechanisms with political, economic and cultural dimensions, based on the need for the world communities to act in harmony and cooperation with one another.” the press statement concluded
The OIC, through this statement, expressed regret for the cancellation of the meeting, which the statement described as an event that “was expected to deepen dialogue and reinforce understanding among the two parties.”
Earlier on Friday the Turkish Foreign Minister and deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said that controversy arose between the EU and the OIC on Cyprus. “As the EU's decisions are important for them, the OIC's decisions are important for the OIC members as well,” Gul said indicating the deadlock in the matter.
The President of the TRNC Rauf Denktas slammed the EU for seeing the Greek Cypriot side as a legitimate state and Turkish Cypriots as a community.