Journal of Turkish Weekly
Oct 1 2005

Greek Cyprus Vetoes EU-Caucasus Relations


Greek Cyprus put veto on EU-Azerbaijan negotiations within the
framework of "Enlarged Europe. New Neighborhood" as the latter
launched air communications with the unrecognized Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in July. The European neighborhood initiative
is designed for the three South Caucasian states (Azerbaijan, Armenia
and Georgia). Therefore EU postponed negotiations with all of these
three countries because of the Greek Cyprus. The Armenian media
argued that the EU betrayed its own principles by punishing the
region.

One of the private Azerbaijani companies fly to TRNC which is not
recognized by the EU and the Greek side. In fact the EU promised to
lift all the economic and political sanctions against the Turkish
Cypriots. However despite of the 2004 promises, the EU accepted the
Greek Cyprus as full member to the EU and kept the Turkish Cypriots
outside. After the membership, the Greeks on the island have been
very reluctant for peace negotiations. The Greek Cypriot Government
plans to `solve' the problems inside the EU because the Turks are not
inside the EU. The Greek Cyprus also tries to veto Turkey-EU
relations. Thus a tiny member block the EU's relations with the
Caucasus and 75-million-size-Turkey.

GEORGIA, AZERBAIJAN AND ARMENIA ARE NOT HAPPY

At a joint press conference with Armenian foreign minister on Sept.
29, the EU special representative to the South Caucasus confirmed the
information by the Armenian and Azeri press that the European Union
has postponed negotiations with Armenia and Georgia because of the
Greek Cyprus.

Heikki Talvitie said that they decided to postpone the talks because
of some problems between Azerbaijan and a EU state Greek Cyprus). The
Finn diplomat said that unless those problems are settled in a month
the EU would apply `individual' approach to each country.

"GREEK CYPRUS HIJACKED EU'S RELATIONS"

Dr. Sedat Laciner from ISRO said the decision would undermine the
EU-Caucasus relations. `A tiny country severely damage the EU's
relations with whole region. The Greek Cypriots not only hijacked
Turkey-EU relations but also Caucasus-EU relations' Laciner added.

JTW
Jan SOYKOK, 1 October 2005