The next move

Tomorrow Cyprus will become a European Union member, thus opening a new chapter in its history and ending many months of tension. The outcome of the Greek Cypriots’ referendum, which proved that people were not ready to accept the solution put before them, offers food for thought to diplomats who must now review their mistakes and consider corrective measures. As far as Costas Karamanlis’s government is concerned, the matter was handled in the best possible way. The masterly diplomacy of Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis ensured Karamanlis was able to effectively maintain the initiative, in excellent cooperation with Nicosia, the EU, the USA and Ankara. The next chapter is the complex issue of Greek-Turkish relations. On this level, Athens has a clear goal. It must do everything it can to boost Turkey’s European orientation and ensure its neighbor secures a date for accession to the bloc in December. The groundwork for this has already been set by the excellent relationship between Karamanlis and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which held firm despite turmoil during Cyprus negotiations… If Erdogan comes back to Turkey in December empty-handed, he is likely to face a domestic crisis. And we know from past events that, during times of domestic pressure, Turkish governments tend to shift the emphasis to foreign relations with moves often aimed at Greece…

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