No Cyprus drama needed: Swede FM
Cansu Çamlıbel ISTANBUL
Swedish Foreign Minister Bildt (L) meets with Turkey’s EU Minister Bağış who says his country won’t abandon Turkish Cyprus if efforts to reunify the island fail.Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said Greek Cyprus’ EU presidency term should not cause “drama” as the post “has a much more limited role.”
“It is just chairing meetings but it is not dictating to decide politics […] I think in those six months you will see that the world is still there,” Bildt said in a recent interview with daily Hürriyet. Greek Cyprus will begin its six-month presidency of the European Union on July 1.
Bildt said he did not believe much would change after July 1. “When you are in the presidency you are the spokesman for the entire EU and you can be the spokesman for your national line less.”
Bildt said both sides in the ongoing negotiations between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots still lacked “flexibility.” He said the U.N.-led talks on the island would not last forever, adding, “We know roughly how a compromise might look.”
Turkey’s accession talks with the EU had slowed down, Bildt said, citing the state of the reform process in Turkey itself. “We should not neglect the fact that some chapters are not opened due to the fact that work is slow in Turkey,” Bildt said.
He also said a new constitution could solve issues like the Kurdish problem and violations of press freedom in Turkey. “It will be extremely important to solve all those kinds of problems in a constitution,” said Bildt. “The basic issue is now down to the constitution. This country still has a constitution from another political year.”
He said the belief on the “the Kurdish side and government side that there is a military solution” to the Kurdish problem had significantly diminished.
Swedish FM denies Wikileaks’ Turkey claims
Bildt said the Stratfor emails leaked by Wikileaks, in which he is accused of being a United States agent and lobbying against Turkey, were untrue.
“It is just a smear so far […] But it was low-level gossip which had no credibility with anyone,” said Bildt.