CYPRUS’ EU presidency, slated for July 2012, could be withheld if a solution to the Cyprus problem is not on the cards by the end of the year, according to Turkish Cypriot leader Dervish Eroglu’s representative Kudret Ozersay.

In an interview published in Kibris newspaper, Ozersay claimed there was increasing talk in EU diplomatic circles that allowing a divided Cyprus to assume the EU presidency would jeopardise the chances of gaining Greek Cypriot support for a solution.

“This is something that is being seriously discussed in diplomatic circles, but it is too early to say what approach they will take,” Ozersay said, adding that some EU diplomats were worried that the Greek Cypriot side will try to use its presidency to its advantage in negotiations.

Ozersay said that withholding the presidency was not the only way to increase Greek Cypriots’ appetite for a solution, and that a number of approaches were possible.

“They could simply refuse to give Cyprus the presidency, or they could add a condition that it will only be given if agreement has between the two sides and that the two communities take the presidency as partners,” he said.

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