Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
Print this page Print Bookmark and Share
Media Watch 2005

20 March 2005
Source: Cyprus Mail
Author:
Comment: The following editorial appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 20 March 2005.
Tory MEP slams Straw comments
"Villiers said the British Labour government ''is so blinded by its desire to see Turkey become a member of the EU that they are prepared to just ignore fundamental issues''... the issue of whether Turkey got a date to open accession negotiations was a hugely important bargaining chip which British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the EU could have used powerfully to put pressure on Turkey to pull its troops out of Cyprus. ''The only concession Turkey gave in exchange for a date was to promise to recognise the government of Cyprus. Now it looks as though Labour are going to let them get away without even fulfilling their promise on recognition,'' Villiers said."

A BRITISH conservative MEP Theresa Villiers has condemned British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's remarks regarding the recognition of Cyprus by Turkey after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul, and demanded that Straw retract his statements.

''It is inconceivable for a country to start accession negotiations whilst failing to recognise all the existing EU members,'' Villiers noted. According to a press release issued by her office, she said that she wrote to Straw demanding that he retract his comments, highlighting ''the real sense of anger and betrayal felt by so many Cypriots''.

Straw had said that the issue of recognition of the Cyprus Republic by Turkey would be resolved in the context of Turkey's full membership of the EU.

Villiers said the British Labour government ''is so blinded by its desire to see Turkey become a member of the EU that they are prepared to just ignore fundamental issues''.

''Labour have so often promised action on Cyprus but they break their promises time and again,'' Villiers added.

According to Villiers, the issue of whether Turkey got a date to open accession negotiations was a hugely important bargaining chip which British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the EU could have used powerfully to put pressure on Turkey to pull its troops out of Cyprus.

''The only concession Turkey gave in exchange for a date was to promise to recognise the government of Cyprus. Now it looks as though Labour are going to let them get away without even fulfilling their promise on recognition,'' Villiers said."