European Commission’s proposal on lifting visa for Turkey created trouble between the Greek Cypriot politicians.
“DIKO (South Cyprus political party) leader Nicolas Papadopoulos does not want a solution to the Cyprus problem”, South Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Thursday, as a row between the two escalated over the European Commission’s proposal for the lifting of visa requirements for Turkish citizens.
Earlier this week the Turkish cabinet approved waiving visas for visitors from all 28 EU member states once Europe relaxes its own visa requirements for Turks.
Although the visa waiver will apply to Greek Cypriots, Turkish officials said it did not amount to recognition of the Greek Cypriot Administration.
Papadopoulos, who is the leader of DİKO political party in the south, insisted the visa waiver raised other concerns, such as illegal migration and asylum seekers.
Accusing the Greek Cypriot Administration of a weak foreign policy for not objecting to the European Commission’s document, Papadopoulos zeroed in on the South Cyprus Foreign Minister, whom he accused of having a history of ‘exculpating’ Turkey’s policy on Cyprus.
Kasoulides suggesting that Papadopoulos’ concerns were merely a vote-grabbing ploy –directed particularly at Greek Cypriot refugees – in the midst of an election campaign.
Kasoulides said Papadopoulos’ track record spoke for itself.
“There are certain politicians, and Papadopoulos is one of them, and I say this responsibly and on the record, who do not want a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Coming back, Papadopoulos said he felt insulted by Kasoulides’ remark that he was against a solution, demanding a retraction.
The DIKO leader demanded also that Anastasiades immediately convene the Greek Cypriot National Council to discuss the EU visa waiver for Turkish nationals, which he called a “highly negative and dangerous development.”