NEWS

Turkey warns it will not recognize Cypriot EU presidency [update]

Turkey on Wednesday warned it will not recognize Cyprus?s presidency of the European Union in mid-2012 without an agreement to unify the divided island.

?If the Greek Cypriot side stalls negotiations and takes over the presidency of the European Union in July 2012, this means not only a deadlock on the island, but also a blockage, a freezing point in Turkey-European Union relations,? Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference on Wednesday.

His statements came as the EU?s enlargement chief said he expected to see progress in the predominantly-Muslim nation?s membership bid.

?We want to see a new momentum in Turkey?s EU membership process now that the Turkish elections are over?, EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele told a news conference with Turkey?s EU Minister Egemen Bagis in Ankara on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a comfortable victory, the third in a row, in a general election in June 12.

Several UN-brokered attempts to hammer out a Cyprus peace settlement have fell through, also dampening Turkey?s EU ambitions. The latest peace talks have also produced limited results.

Earlier this month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pushed Cyprus leaders to reach a settlement by October.