Cypriot leader taking Turkish concerns to EU


The president of Cyprus is traveling to Brussels on the eve of a European Union summit with Turkey on migration to outline his government's opposition to making too many concessions to Ankara.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will meet with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Wednesday evening, one day after telling EU President Donald Tusk that Cyprus has no intention of permitting full negotiations for Turkey's EU membership – a position that could scuttle the whole deal.

The two-day EU summit starting on Thursday will try to make sure all EU nations sign off on a deal with Turkey that even Tusk has said still needs to be “rebalanced” to make it acceptable to all. The tentative agreement struck March 7 would allow Greece to return migrants to Turkey as Europe opens new routes for pre-screened migrants to seek asylum legally.

Turkey demands some 6 billion euros ($6.7 billion) to help deal with the migrant crisis and wants big concessions, particularly on its long-held dream of joining the EU. Nowhere does mistrust run higher than in neighboring Cyprus, which has been divided into a Greek Cypriot south and a Turkish breakaway state in northern Cyprus since 1974.