Cyprus Threatens to Block Turkey’s EU Entry Talks

NICOSIA (Xinhua) Cyprus threatened on Wednesday to block Turkey’s accession talks to the European Union if it is not satisfied with an EU response to Turkey’s refusal to recognize Nicosia.

Cypriot government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides made the remarks after Turkey said it will only establish ties with the island after a comprehensive settlement is found and a new partnership state is formed.

Cyprus–which became an EU member state on May 1–2004–together with nine other countries–wants an EU reply which underlines that the Turkish non-recognition stance has no legal significance.

Otherwise–Cyprus said it will block the negotiating mandate. " If there is no debate and agreement on the negotiating framework–the negotiations will not start," the spokesman’said.

Turkey will open entry talks with the 25-member bloc on Oct. 3–but if the negotiating mandate is not unanimously adopted–the talks will not open.

EU foreign ministers will meet on Thursday in Newport–Wales–to discuss the issue–and a declaration is expected soon. Turkey signed a protocol in July–extending its customs union to 10 new EU members–including Cyprus–which cleared a last hurdle on its way to opening entry talks with the EU.

However–Turkey claimed at the same time that its signature to the protocol doesn’t mean recognition of the Cypriot government.

Cyprus was divided into the Greek Cypriot south and the Turkish Cypriot north in 1974–when Turkey sent troops invade Northern Cpyrus.

The internationally-recognized south entered the EU representing the whole island although it rejected a UN reunification plan in April 2004. The north is only recognized only by Turkey.

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