ANKARA - EU-candidate Turkey would not accept Cyprus in the post of the rotating EU presidency, which it is due to assume in July 2012, without a deal to end the island's division, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
Speaking ahead of a visit to the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north of the island, Erdogan said the EU should consider the consequences of allowing the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot state from taking over the post.
"We will not accept the EU presidency of South Cyprus, whom we do not recognize. European Union should consider the consequences," he told a news conference in Ankara.
Erdogan's visit to Cyprus will be his first international trip in his third term in office after his ruling AK Party won a comfortable victory in a parliamentary election last year.