EU candidate Turkey has again threatened to freeze relations with the bloc over the thorny topic of Cyprus.
Ankara is angry at plans to give internationally-recognised Greek Cypriot authorities the EU’s rotating presidency next July.
Visiting the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north, Turkey’s deputy premier Besir Atalay was adamant.
“If peace negotiations on the island are not conclusive and the EU gives its rotating presidency to southern Cyprus, the real crisis will be between Turkey and the EU. We will then freeze our relations with the EU…..Our relations with the EU will come to a sudden halt,” he said.
It is not the only row over Cyprus raising tension in the eastern Mediterranean where Turkey’s relations with one-time ally Israel are also seriously frayed.
A dispute is escalating between Turkey and Cyprus over Greek Cypriot pans to launch gas explorations around the divided island.