Cyprus has blocked an agreement on the opening of European Union states’ first detailed accession negotiations with Turkey. The 25 foreign ministers are scheduled to address the easiest of 35 policy “chapters” with Turkey, on science and research, at a meeting on Monday.
Diplomats at ambassadors’ talks said Nicosia demanded the EU insist Ankara recognise and normalise ties with divided Cyprus. Practically, this entails letting Cypriot shipping enter Turkish ports like other EU members.
Turkey has persistently proposed that in return for opening up its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot ships and planes, trade and other restrictions against the Turkish Cypriots should be lifted.
Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 after a Greek-inspired coup. Ankara’s troops remain in the north. Only the Nicosia government has international recognition. It represents the whole of the island in the EU.