Christofias: “If Turkey doesn’t change its stance it won’t join the EU”

President Christofias stated yesterday, at a dinner held in his honour at Sydney, Australia, that the Cypriot government supports the full integration of Turkey’s in the European Union but that it shouldn’t be taken as an open cheque, explaining that if Turkey does not change its stance withdrawing its troops from Cypriot soil it will never join the EU.

“Since the beginning of my presidency,” he added, “I took steps to convince Turkey that for me and for my government, the Turkish Cypriots are fully equal citizens of the Republic, such as the Greek Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latinos, and I am committed to a transformation of the unitary state into a bi-zonal bi-communal federal state, and this is a courageous and painful decision of President Makarios.

“And I reiterate this commitment, as it was repeated by the other presidents (of the Republic),” said President Christofias, saying that he tried to persuade Mr Eroglu, but the Turkish Cypriot leader has a different vision. “