Cypriot President ARF Meet on Turkey’s EU Entry

NICOSIA (Yerkir)–Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Bureau representative Hrant Margarian and the President of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos met on Tuesday to discuss Turkey’s aspirations to join the European Union (EU).

Cyprus warned its European Union partners last week that it may veto the start of accession talks with Turkey if the latter continues to resist calls to recognize Cyprus.

Margarian briefed President Papadopoulos on the ARF’s position concerning Turkey’s bid to join the EU–and called on Cyprus to maintain a steadfast position regarding the possibility of Turkey commencing EU accession negotiations. He also said he expected Cyprus to raise–within the EU–the issue of Turkey’s recognition of the Armenian genocide.

The ARF delegation was composed of ARF Western Europe Central Committee (CC) representative Murad Papazian–ARF Greece CC representative Krikor Erchanian–European Armenian Federation Chairwoman Hilda Tchoboian–ARF Cyprus organization representative Vahan Aynedjian–and Armenian National Committee of Cyprus Chairman Antranig Ashjian.

The delegation later met with the president of the Cyprus Socialist Party (EDEK) and other officials.

The Cypriot government has demanded full recognition before Turkey’s accession talks commence. Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 in reaction to a Greek-inspired coup in Nicosia and has kept 35,000 troops on the divided island ever since.

The warning that Nicosia may "have no other option" but to use its veto at a December 16-17 summit of EU heads of state was issued at a meeting of the EU ambassadors of the bloc’s 25 member countries in Brussels last Wednesday.

Turkey recognizes only the Turkish Cypriot enclave in north Cyprus–while the rest of the world views the Greek Cypriot government in the south–which joined the EU in May–as the sole legitimate representative of the whole island.

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