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Cyprus Talks Doomed?

North Cyprus President Mehmet Ali Talat, says that he is concerned that the current round of talks will not be completed before the Presidential elections in the north. He has made it clear that if the talks are not completed before the elections then he will not be standing as a candidate. North Cyprus Prime Minister Derviş Eroğlu, of the ruling UBP party, is expected to run for the position and is currently the front runner. Eroğlu’s view of the talks is scepticism that only a two state solution would be viable.

If the talks with south Cyprus President, Dimitris Christofias, are not completed before the Presidential elections and, as expected, Eroğlu becomes President, then there seems little hope of an agreement being reached between him and Christofias. When south Cyprus was allowed to enter the EU it was on the basis that a solution to the Cyprus Problem was not needed, now this same condition is being sought for Turkey’s accession to the EU.

Greek Cypriots are unhappy that Britain has stated at Brussels that a solution to the Cyprus Problem should not be a pre-condition to Turkey’s entry to the EU. The sticking point is Turkey’s refusal to open its ports and airports to vessels and aircraft bearing the Cypriot flag and for them to normalise its relations with south Cyprus. If this was seen to be part of the Cyprus Problem, and therefore not a precondition to Turkey’s EU entry, then whether or not the current Cyprus Talks reach a conclusion would become irrelevant to Turkey’s international ambitions.

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