No invite to Ankara for EU’s Syria meet
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Cypriot President Demetris Christofias. AFP photoThe European Union has failed to convince Greek Cyprus to invite non-EU member Turkey to the foreign ministers meeting in Brussels where the Syrian crisis will be discussed today.
France had earlier proposed Turkish participation in the meeting given its critical role in the Syrian crisis, an idea that was backed by Germany and the U.K. as well as some other EU countries. But Greek Cyprus vetoed the proposal on the grounds of its ongoing bilateral dispute with Turkey regarding Cyprus. Turkey said it will not recognize Greek Cyprus’ six month presidency in the second half of 2012, with President Abdullah Gül describing the prospect as “half a country” leading a “miserable union.”
For many in Ankara, this is evidence of the failure of the EU in becoming a global power as its foreign policy is hijacked by Greek Cyprus, one of the bloc’s smallest countries. “We have not received an official invitation from the EU. We have no plans to join the EU meeting in Brussels,” diplomatic sources said yesterday. “We understand the problem within the EU could not have been solved.”
The EU meeting will take place with the participation of EU foreign ministers as well as the secretary-general of the Arab League, Nabil al-Araby, who will make a presentation on the content of the Arab League’s sanctions against one of its own members, Syria.
“The secretary-general of the Arab League, Nabil al-Araby, will be the guest of the working lunch that will follow the formal session of the council,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said. He said Foreign Minister Alain Juppe would stress the urgency needed to respond to the worsening humanitarian situation in Syria. Sources said Turkey would consider going to Brussels were they to receive an invitation.