The Cypriot dispute, along with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is the other wound in the Eastern Mediterranean. The problem has gotten everybody’s attention due to the next opening of negotiations about the inclusion of Turkey in the European Union on October 3rd. Ankara has just signed, doubtfully, an extension protocol of customs union that links it to the 10 new member States, including Cyprus, which is not recognized by Ankara. Once the text was signed, Abdullah Gül affirmed that it did not mean a recognition of the Cyprus Republic.
With the purpose of getting the Turkish signature, the British presidency had guaranteed the ratification was not an acknowledgement, but after the signature, Brussels’ interlocutors picked up the blockade ghost. Greek and Cypriot representatives have multiplied their provocative statements. The view is clear. Apart from the responsibility of the Cypriot Greek community in its stagnation, the Cypriot president could use the right to veto in order to block Turkey’s way into Europe. It would count with the support of those who oppose Turkey’s inclusion in the European Union for other reasons.
The Cypriot problem began 30 years ago and it’s not only Turkey’s responsibility. Didn’t Turkey encourage the “yes” during the referendum about the plan of Kofi Annan? Will Turkey be forced to make new concessions without having a compensation? It’s better to insist on negotiations between Cyprus’ communities, on ending inter-community provocations. It’s time to destroy the already-with-cracks Nicosia wall. It’s time to end this problem and that of the inclusion of Turkey in the European Union which began 40 years ago and still creates tensions between Brussels and Ankara.Tony Blair has asked his European partners to keep in mind the strategic importance of the inclusion of Turkey in the European Union; this analysis should be more serious in France.

Le Figaro (France)
Circulation: 350 000 copies. Property of Socpresse (founded by Robert Hersant, it is owned today by planes manufacturer Serge Dassault). This is the reference journal of the French right.

Chypre ne doit pas être un alibi”, by Semih Vaner, Le Figaro, August 31, 2005.