Turkish paper: Northern Cyprus eyes Kosovo outcome

ANKARA -- Turkey's EU friends may come up with new solutions for Northern Cyprus inspired by Kosovo, a report says.

"When diplomatic efforts are exhausted other alternatives are put on the table. We clearly see this in Kosovo where diplomacy proved futile and other formulas are floating around. This will certainly have an impact on Cyprus," says a senior Turkish Cypriot official.

Ozdil Nami told the Turkish Daily News during an exclusive telephone interview that the ongoing negotiations over the status of Kosovo that have thus far proven futile as the province is proceeding toward independence may pave the way for Turkey's friends in the European Union to come up with alternative initiatives to end the isolation of northern Cyprus.

“Everyone sees 2008 as the last window of opportunity for a solution to the Cyprus problem and especially Turkey's friends in the EU are pressuring the Greek Cypriots not to accept the status quo and to back initiatives for a settlement, and warning other alternatives could be on the agenda otherwise,” the Northern Cypriot president's special envoy said.

“Balances are changing in Europe. What do we see in the case of Kosovo or Bosnia? When diplomatic efforts are exhausted other alternatives are put on the table. We clearly see this in Kosovo where diplomacy proved futile and other formulas are floating around. This will certainly have an impact on Cyprus,” he said.

EU-member Cyprus, which the Turkish daily refers to as "Greek Cyprus", is said to be "the only member" blocking a unanimous position on Kosovo – both concerning recognizing its independence and on sending a 1,800 strong policy and administrative mission there, the reports says.

It adds that Cyprus is proceeding along the same line as "its traditional ally Russia".

“There has been a sacred alliance between Greek Cyrus and Russia dating back to old times but this has got deeper and deeper due to the Kosovo problem. Greek Cypriots are devising policies by trusting Russia's veto at the UN Security Council and in return are acting as the Trojan horse of the Russians within the EU,” said Nami.

“All the nations in the EU are considerably uneasy about this. Greek Cypriots will either offend the EU or Russia in the long run. They will soon find themselves in a dilemma,” he added.

"Russia always speaks up for the position of the Greek Cypriots in the UN Security Council and blocked a report of then Secretary General Kofi Annan who praised the Turkish Cypriots for their approval of a UN-backed peace plan for reunification with the Greek Cypriots in a 2004 referendum," the paper commented.