Veto on Turkey ‘for big boys’

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Cyprus would not veto Turkish membership in the European Union after it joins the bloc next year and could even welcome it, President Tassos Papadopoulos said yesterday. But he added that there was no chance of the divided island reuniting while Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash remains in power in the Turkish sector of Cyprus. «Veto is for the big boys. We’ll face the issue when it comes but logic tells me it would be a most unwise move,» Papadopoulos told a conference on the sidelines of the EU intergovernmental conference in Brussels. «I believe a Turkey which behaves like a European country and conforms to European norms would be to Cyprus’s benefit, not its detriment.» Cyprus is due to join the EU in May 2004. Turkey also wants to join and, if the EU decides it meets a list of targets on reform and human rights by the end of 2004, could be given a date for accession talks to start. Cyprus is seen as one of the biggest impediments to its bid.