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Cyprus President: We will decide about Turkey at the last moment
2004-12-13 16:28:48

Nicosia, Dec 13 (CNA) --

Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said today that Cyprus will take its final decision regarding Turkey's European bid at the very last moment at the EU Summit, December 16 and 17, based on the positions of other countries and on the degree Cyprus' demands are met.

President Papadopoulos also underlined that there is a significant number of countries that support Cyprus' positions, saying that those countries deem Cyprus' demands as ''logical, necessary and moderate''.

He also noted that Cyprus' demands fall within the Copenhagen criteria and do not consist political terms for Turkey.

''The people of Cyprus is characterized by considerable maturity and judgment to comprehend that the decision regarding how Cyprus will act at the EU Summit, will be taken at the very last moment, based on the positions of other countries as well and on the degree that our demands are satisfied'', President Papadopoulos said, replying to a journalist's remark that the people of Cyprus are interested in the position Cyprus will hold at the EU Summit.

Asked whether any of the alliances formed within the EU will back Cyprus' positions at the EU Summit, Cyprus President said ''we have ascertained long before that there is a broad support to our positions and a significant number of countries which do not hesitate to say in public and at the discussions that our demands make sense, are necessary, moderate and are terms that apply in the Copenhagen criteria and are no political terms for Turkey''.

''The question is whether at the crucial time, when each country will decide about its stance regarding Turkey, this sympathy will be translated, will be interpreted as a decision for the acceptance or not of the terms we will insist upon'', he noted.

Asked whether at today's EU General Affairs and External Relations Council meeting (GAERC), there were any indications about the EU states' stance at the European Council, Cyprus President noted ''the EU presidency has stated, and apparently most of those present agreed with it, that crucial issues that are still pending, one of which is the position regarding the Cyprus issue, will be decided only at the EU Council of the 25 leaders, December 16 and 17''.

He added that this is ''an additional reason for me not being able to tell you, and that it is not possible to make predictions of what will happen''.

President Papadopoulos said at the request of the EU Presidency only issues of general policy were discussed today and no issues regarding the wording of various terms were discussed.

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