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Media Watch 2005

01 March 2005
Source: Cyprus Mail
Author: George Psyllides
Comment: The following editorial appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 1 March 2005.
Tassos: Turkey will come round sooner rather than later

"TURKEY would sooner or later be forced to talk with Cyprus without necessarily recognising the state, President Tassos Papadopoulos said.

In an exclusive interview with daily newspaper Simerini on Sunday, Papadopoulos said that the Greek Cypriot side’s position was better now than it was right after last year’s referendum, which saw the rejection of a UN blueprint for the comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.
“I repeat, the climate has clearly changed; and I believe our stance on December 17, (EU Summit) won us additional friends, as I personally judge from talks I had with state leaders,” the president said.

Papadopoulos suggested that Turkey would, stemming from its obligations towards the EU, engage in talks with Cyprus, but not necessarily recognise it.

“Recognition today is a multi-faceted issue, the more substantial step being the creation of diplomatic relations, the exchange that is, of ambassadors, which I don’t see happening with Turkey any time soon,” Papadopoulos said.

He said that the extension of the customs union protocol in itself did not constitute recognition, but was an important step.

“It’s an ingredient of the thing called recognition,” he said.

The president said there could be a smoothening of relations without recognition but Cyprus would not give up the demand for recognition.

Asked to clarify his comment about the veto after the European Council meeting, Papadopoulos said he was not the only one who spoke about it.

“(French President Jacques) Chiraq for example, told me personally, and publicly, that the matter was simple: Either Turkey signs the protocol or the talks would not start,” the president said.
On the Annan plan, he said Cyprus had enough substantial arguments to prove that the plan’s provisions were dire for the Greek Cypriot side.

“And there are provisions leading to permanent deadlocks, instead of a viable solution,” he said.
Papadopoulos said Turkey was not finished with its obligations because it accepted the Annan plan.

“This is Turkey’s slogan, which is unfortunately also reproduced with naivety from our sources,” he said.

And this made it harder to convince European countries: “Of course; decisions in various countries are not always taken by considering what is logical and in accordance with international legal order.”

“But I think that the climate in many countries has been greatly reversed since April 24 (referendum),” Papadopoulos said."