Cyprus move at 11th hour

NICOSIA (AFP) – Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said on Saturday that a decision on whether or not to back Turkey’s bid for a start date on EU accession talks will not be made until the 11th hour at a Brussels summit this week. «Simply, the decision must be made at the last moment, based on the final positions of the heads of state and governments during December 17,» he told his center-right DIKO party conference. Cyprus has not ruled out vetoing Turkey’s EU ambitions unless Ankara recognizes Nicosia. Papadopoulos suggested that Turkey extending its EU customs union agreement to Cyprus would be «tantamount to recognition of the legal entity of the Cyprus Republic.» He said Nicosia does not oppose giving Turkey a date, but there was one condition: «It is Turkey’s obligation to the European Union to sign the protocol to extend its commerce agreement with all EU member states.»