EU Snub Rankles Akinci

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said he might not meet visiting European Commission’s Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis if it’s only for 15 minutes.

Akinci helped spearhead renewed unification talks on the island with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades but said he was upset Dombrovskis is giving him short shrift.

During a speech he made in the north at an event for small and medium-sized business leaders, Akinci said Dombrovskis should be able to spare more than 15 minutes for a “courtesy visit,” the Cyprus Mail said.

“If it is to carry out visits like this, it would be better not to show up at all,” he said, adding that Turkish Cypriots have taken the initiative to help bring unity to the island.

The EU vice president would be in Cyprus for three days and that he would have a lot of contacts “in the south” and would give a news conference, referring to what he said was favoritism leaning toward Anastasiades. Akinci said the EU had a duty to help prepare the Turkish Cypriots for membership.

“We are serious and we want those visiting us to be serious as well. The normal thing would be the one who is responsible to prepare the Turkish Cypriot side for the EU, to carry out contacts here. To come and hear us, learn about our sensitivities; this is their main responsibility. It should be made known that we will not accept such approaches,” he added.

Dombrovskis, who is also Commissioner for the Euro and Social Dialogue, is due in Cyprus on March 3 to discuss issues regarding the economy and social issues as well as opportunities for development and investment.