NEWS

Timely Cyprus deal in doubt?

Brussels recognizes that a definitive deal for reuniting long-divided Cyprus, a leading candidate for European Union membership, is impossible before December when the EU is to finalize its enlargement plans, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said yesterday. «They also see that reaching a final settlement on Cyprus before December is impossible,» Yilmaz told Turkish reporters in Brussels after two days of talks there with EU officials. «They… told me that a [Cyprus] accord over principles would greatly help the enlargement process.» On Tuesday, Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen said the EU was still hoping for a Cyprus deal before the December deadline. Addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou called on the EU and the USA to deliver a clear message to Turkey to stop threatening to annex occupied northern Cyprus or cause a military incident if Cyprus enters the EU without a settlement having been reached. (Combined reports)