Friday

22nd Feb 2019

Cyprus to block restart of Turkey-EU talks

  • Cyprus says there is nothing to compel it to support reopening talks with Turkey (Photo: michael kirian)

Cyprus said on Monday (19 October) that it will continue to oppose restarting Turkey’s stalled accession negotiations to join the European Union because Ankara has not done enough to reunite the divided island.

Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades said the obstacles still remain that were there in the first place, and there is nothing to compel Cyprus to agree to reopen membership negotiations on chapters that deal with justice and security, as well as wit the judiciary and fundamental rights, AP reports.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

German chancellor Angela Merkel on a visit to Turkey on Sunday said her government is backing to restart entry talks with Turkey on the economy and monetary policy chapters.

The German leader agreed to help accelerate accession talks with Turkey as it seeks Ankara's help with the huge influx of migrants and refugees into Europe, particularly Germany.

The restart for negotiations would require consent from all EU members.

And Cypriot political leaders were not impressed.

Cyprus has blocked six of 35 EU-Turkey negotiation chapters since 2009 because of Ankara's refusal to recognise it and to allow Cypriot ships and airplanes to use its ports and airports.

Cypriot foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides told the Cyprus News Agency on Monday that Cyprus is sticking to its line as long as Ankara doesn't live up to its obligations.

However, Cyprus' permanent representative to the EU, Kornelios Korneliou, on Monday told Cyprus state radio that his country could agree to EU talks with Turkey on the economy and monetary policy chapter.

Turkey doesn't recognise Cyprus as a state and is the only country to recognise a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence. It also maintains a 35,000 strong military force in the north of the island.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded after a Greek junta-backed coup aimed to unite the island with Greece.

Peace talks between are expected to pick up next month, as Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will try to hammer out sensitive issues, like lost property during the war.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his part said on Saturday that a solution was needed to end the division of Cyprus and guarantee the stability of the eastern Mediterranean.

While opening a water pipeline connecting the north of Cyprus with Turkey, he said: "Let's hope that the waters of (Turkey) lead to an environment where unity takes root and lives forever."

Cypriot president Anastasiades said he would discuss the matter with Merkel at a European People's Party (EPP) congress in Madrid later in the week.

North Cyprus election renews hopes of peace deal

Independent candidate Mustafa Akinci won a surprise victory to become president of Northern Cyprus on Sunday, in a result that could prove a breakthrough for peace talks on the divided island.

Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table

EU probes into Hungary and Poland on rule of law and democracy are back on the agenda of EU affairs ministers - but with little guidance from the Romanian presidency, without a clear idea where the procedures are headed.

News in Brief

  1. Report: Russia offered Italy's Salvini €3m for EU election
  2. EU and US could 'quickly' clinch mini-trade pact
  3. Belgium to gather evidence on Syria 'foreign fighters'
  4. Dozens of Tory and Labour MPs threatening to quit over Brexit
  5. UK will struggle on free-trade deals, EU says
  6. Juncker pledges climate action alongside Swedish activist
  7. Swedbank brings in external help on money laundering revelations
  8. No-deal Brexit danger 'very serious', Corbyn says after Brussels meeting

EU says Hungary's anti-Juncker campaign is fake news

The European Commission has branded the latest campaign by the Hungarian government as 'fake news', after Orban's government accused Juncker of pressing ahead with migration proposals that threaten the country's security.

Opinion

Italy will keep blinking in 2019

Italy's 'marriage of convenience' coalition government likes picking battles with Brussels. But with the economy now in recession, and deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini needing to keep the business lobby on board, expect Rome to blink first.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  2. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  3. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  5. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  7. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  8. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups

Latest News

  1. Swedish activist urges EU to double climate goals
  2. EP budget chair seeks clarity on Saudi lobbying and College of Europe
  3. Microsoft warns EU on election hack threat
  4. Brexit talks to continue after May-Juncker meeting
  5. Trump and Kurz: not best friends, after all
  6. EU commission appeals Dieselgate ruling
  7. 'No burning crisis' on migrant arrivals, EU agency says
  8. 'No evidence' ECB bond-buying helped euro economy

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us