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US Senator: EU must demand Cyprus solution before Turkey's accession
2005-08-03 16:56:52

Nicosia, Aug 3 (CNA) -- US Rhode Island State Senator Leonidas Raptakis has called on the European Union to demand a settlement of the Cyprus issue before Turkey’s admission to the EU.

A press release issued by Raptakis said that he believed the EU must send a strong message to Ankara that time has come to “abandon its dead-end policy” of a divided Cyprus.

''Does the Turkish government ever want a solution to the Cyprus problem or do they simply intend to keep dragging their feet?” said Raptakis and underlined “it is time for the European Union and the free nations of the world to demand a real commitment to resolve the Cyprus problem in a meaningful, lasting way if the Turkish government wants to join the European community.”

“The Turkish government must be made to understand that it is finally time to abandon its dead end policy of maintaining a divided Cyprus,” he noted.

Raptakis said a failure by the EU to demand concrete concessions from Ankara will only lead to more misery for both Greek and Turkish Cypriots, denying the island nation the chance to be a unified member of the European community.

He said the Turkish government must be made to show it is serious about joining the EU by ending its occupation of Cyprus. Raptakis said it was too late for the EU to be hailing minor concessions from Turkey as a sign of a commitment to change.

“When it comes to the issue of Cyprus and Turkish entry into the EU, the time has come to fish or cut bait,” said Raptakis.

“If the EU is going to enter into talks for Turkish admission to the EU, it must make clear that significant steps are expected to move the process forward and that continued foot-dragging will defeat the purpose of talking,” he added.

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