.contact us |.about us
News > International News ... ...
Cyprus says sees no bar to Turkish EU membership
( 2003-10-17 03:43) (Agencies)

Cyprus would not veto Turkish membership of the European Union after it joins the bloc next year and could even welcome it, President Tassos Papadopoulos said on Thursday.

But he added that there was no chance of the divided island reuniting while Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash remains in power in the Turkish sector of Cyprus.

"Veto is for the big boys. We'll face the issue when it comes, but logic tells me it would be a most unwise move," Papadopoulos told a conference. "I believe a Turkey which behaves like a European country and conforms to European norms would be to Cyprus's benefit, not its detriment."

Cyprus is due to join the EU in May 2004, but remains divided into Greek and Turkish sectors since Turkey invaded the island in 1974, in response to a brief Greek Cypriot coup backed by the military junta then leading Greece.

Turkey also wants to join the bloc and, if the EU decides it meets a list of targets on reform and human rights by the end of next year, could set a date for accession talks to start. Cyprus is seen as one of the biggest blocks to its application. Papadopoulos wants Cyprus to reunite under a peace plan proposed by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.

But he was blunt about the prospects of achieving this while Denktash, who has already declared the plan dead, remained in charge.

"While Mr Denktash is leading the Turkish Cypriots there can be no prospect of implementing the Annan plan," he said.

Papadopoulos was in Brussels for an EU summit which is negotiating a new constitution for the bloc, to enable it to function efficiently after enlargement next year to 25 member states from 15 now.

Although he said there were some areas of the text which could be improved, the one he felt most strongly about was ensuring that each state had its own commissioner, or member of the bloc's executive.

Under the draft constitution, the number of commissioners will drop to 15 next year, meaning 40 percent of states would not have one at any given moment.

"I think it's a sine qua non, not only for small countries, but for Europe itself," Papadopoulos said. "You give away part of your sovereignty to a collective organ to exercise it for you. I would like to be able to tell my people: 'at least you have a voice'."

  Today's Top News   Top International News
+China's debut space mission a 'complete success'
( 2003-10-16)
+China to launch Shenzhou 6 in one or two years
( 2003-10-16)
+Gas field brings Shanghai more energy
( 2003-10-17)
+Ministry pledges positive APEC role
( 2003-10-17)
+IT tycoon tops China's 2003 richest list
( 2003-10-16)
+Russia, France and Germany back US resolution on Iraq
( 2003-10-17)
+UK gene crop test results fuel demands for ban
( 2003-10-17)
+Cyprus says sees no bar to Turkish EU membership
( 2003-10-17)
+Iraq police evict Shi'ite radicals from town hall
( 2003-10-17)
+Japan, Mexico fail to seal FTA during Fox's visit
( 2003-10-16)
  Go to Another Section  
  Article Tools  
        .contact us |.about us
  Copyright By chinadaily.com.cn. All rights reserved