Bağış warns on Greek Cyprus’ term presidency
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsTurkey will not open negotiation chapters with the EU during the Greek Cyprus’ term presidency in the second half of 2012, Turkey’s EU Minister and chief negotiator Egemen Bağış reiterated over the weekend.
“If the Greek Cypriots want to open a chapter with us, we will give them a date after their presidency is over, and open the chapter then. In the meantime, our relations with the commission, Parliament and EU member countries will continue the same,” Bağış said in an interview with the private NTV news channel. Turkey has already said on numerous occasions that it would suspend its ties with the EU term presidency if Greek Cyprus drags its feet in finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem before July 1, the date when the country assumes the presidency. Reunification talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriots seem to be deadlocked due to Greek Cypriots’ resistance. “We don’t have relations with Greek Cyprus today, so we’re not going to start one just because someone appointed them as president,” Bağış said.
Meanwhile, Alexander Downer, the U.N. special envoy for Cyprus, said the U.N. saw no reason to host further meetings of the two Cypriot leaders “unless there is a clear indication from both sides that there is something substantial they wish to conclude,” Reuters reported.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon scrapped plans for an international conference on Cyprus set for late this month or in early May because insufficient progress had been made in talks, Downer said but added that Ban still held out hope for a conference in the summer.