Dialogue with Ankara

Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos’s revelation that he has asked Turkey to enter into a dialogue both prior to and after December 17 has certainly caused a stir. «I reveal – and you know this, Mr Prime Minister,» Papadopoulos told Karamanlis, «that we have indicated to the government of our neighboring country our readiness to begin talks, to explain our positions as to how we see Cyprus’s relations with Turkey before and after December 17 and up until its accession to the EU… It is now up to Turkey itself to accept the challenge and the invitation,» he added. This spectacular move, which, according to a well-informed source, was also issued via other European leaders (who played the role of mediator with Ankara), knocks the ball squarely into Ankara’s court. For the time being, however, Ankara has replied with a show of intransigence and continued provocations, both against Greece and the Republic of Cyprus.