Straw: “We made a big mistake by allowing Cyprus to become a member of the EU, which put more cards into Greek Cypriots hands”

Former UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has criticised the decision to allow South Cyprus to become a full member of the EU, and expressed hopes that the peace talks will continue.

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Speaking to guests at the World Tourism Forum at the İstanbul Congress Centre last week, Straw responded to a question about the Cyprus talks by saying: “My views about Cyprus make me more popular in the TRNC, although I can’t  say the same thing for South Cyprus. It is my view that we made a big mistake by allowing Cyprus to become a member of the EU in 2004, a decision that was taken during Papadopoulos’s term. This decision put more cards into  Greek Cypriots’ hands, and thus their willingness to change the status quo also decreased.”

Straw expressed his hope that the peace talks will resume, adding that, “It is always beneficial to have moderate leaders in peace talks.” However, he also raised the issue of the division of Cyprus, saying. “The international community should clearly say to the Greek Cypriots: “If you do not start negotiations, we will approve the division of Cyprus.” If such a thing is said, negotiations may re-start faster. “

Source: TRNC Public Information Office