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Austrian Presidency Says Turkey Must RecogniseCyprusThisYeas
Chaldean
post 02/22/06 08:54 PM
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The Austrian chancellor Wolfgang Schussel has increased pressure on Turkey by setting a deadline for its recognition of Cyprus by the end of 2006.

Turkey has "until the end of 2006" to recognise the government of the Republic of Cyprus, the Austrian leader said after meeting Cypriot president Tassos Papadopoulos in Vienna on Tuesday (21 February), according to agency reports.

Ankara should also open its ports for Cypriot vessels and its airspace for Cypriot planes before next year, Mr Schussel added.

Turkey does not legally recognise Cyprus, which has been divided since 1974 when Turkish forces occupied the northern part of the island after a coup d'etat on the island by Greek army officers.

The EU has repeatedly urged Turkey to lift its embargo on Cypriot-flagged vessels and aircraft as part of Turkey's negotiations for membership of the EU, which started in October last year.

In theory, Turkey's signature of the EU protocol extending a customs accord with the EU to the bloc's 10 new states - including Cyprus - should result in the embargo being lifted.

But Ankara says it can only lift the embargo if the EU moves on a long-standing promise to end the isolation of the north of the island, under international trade embargo since 1974.

Turkish offer Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in January offered to lift trade barriers between Turkey and Cyprus if the Cypriot government allows direct trade with the Turkish-populated north of the island.

Mr Gul called for a high level meeting in the framework of the United Nations to discuss the plan.

But Cyprus, which acceded to the EU in 2004, has so far blocked direct EU trade with the Turkish Cypriots.

The Cypriots are seen to use their newly-gained EU veto right as a means to put pressure on Turkey, with Cypriot president Tassos Papadopoulos hinting last week that he could veto Turkish EU membership, albeit as a "last choice."

At the same time, Nicosia dislikes the idea of new UN involvement in the affair, as proposed by Ankara.

Mr Papadopoulos in a recent interview with a Greek paper blamed UN secretary general Kofi Annan for caving in to almost all Turkish demands in his 2004 peace plan for the island.

The Annan plan was put to a referendum in both parts of the island and accepted by the Turkish north, but rejected by Greek Cypriots.

EUobserver
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Mordoth
post 02/23/06 02:26 AM
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We obey with loyalty !
YOUR ORDERS SIR !!
SIR , YES , SIR !
Hahaha , that is just ridiculous . There is no state only an honorable state which is TRNC in Cyprus . Nothing more .
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