Athens cagey over Kosovo

Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis yesterday responded cautiously to the news that Kosovo had declared its independence from Serbia, noting that the move should not be seen as a precedent in the region. «As regards recognition of the new situation, Greece will make its decisions after analyzing all developments and their repercussions on regional security and national interests,» Bakoyannis said from Brussels where she had been attending a session of the European Union’s foreign affairs council. She added that the «new situation… cannot in any way be regarded as constituting a precedent» in the region – a clear reference to the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus. As expected Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat welcomed the move. «Those who object to the independence of Kosovo should consider that no people can be forced to live under the rule of another people,» he said. A government spokesman in Nicosia was predictably concerned. «This type of a recognition creates a precedent and will cause problems in the future,» said Vassilis Palmas.