Turkey to veto EU’s Kosovo police mission

by Zeynep Gürcanlı
18 Şubat 2008 - 15:05Son Güncelleme : 18 Şubat 2008 - 15:05

Turkey informed Brussels that it will veto the European Union’s planned police mission to Kosovo to use NATO capabilities due to the presence of the Greek Cypriots in the mission on Monday, reminding the similar crisis happened in Afghanistan.

ANKARA - Despite differences over recognition, the EU members agreed on Saturday to send some 2,000 police, justice and civil administrators to supervise Kosovo and help build institutions. The EU has also approved a civilian high representative for Kosovo, Dutchman Pieter Feith, who will oversee the police and justice mission and the implementation by Kosovo's government of standards protecting the province's Serb minority. The EU mission will take 120 days to complete deployment and take over from the U.N. mission, once a start date is agreed.
Sources close to the matter said Turkey and the EU are holding talks in order to prevent a potential crisis. According to the EU decision, all EU members, except Malta, as well as Turkey, Croatia and the US will send support to the mission. This means Turkey and the Greek Cypriots, who are not recognized by Ankara, will work under the same umbrella.

The EU aims to use the NATO capabilities deployed in Kosovo. However Ankara informed the EU that it will veto such a decision in NATO.

AFGHANISTAN FORMULA

A similar situation occured last year when the EU has sent police mission including Greek Cypriots to Afghanistan. Turkey vetoed a decision to let the EU mission to use NATO capabilities. The problem was solved when the US intervened the situation with a formula of “de-facto arrangement”. Under this formula the EU mission directly contacts the NATO commander in Afghanistan when it needed NATO capabilities, so that the situation is overcome on the military level.

However, the sources said, Turkey opposes such “de-facto” settlement and waits for the results of the general elections in Greek Cyprus.

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