Cyprus: The Predictable Crisis

The EU's determination to invite Cyprus into the Union in December 2002 represents a crisis-in-the-making. It's not too soon for Washington to begin work to head it off.

Issue: Winter 2001-2002

Most international crises take leaders by surprise. While the region or issue that might blow up can often be identified in advance, the timing and contour of any particular crisis usually cannot. The coming dispute between Turkey and the European Union over the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, however, provides the rare opportunity of a coming crisis that can be pretty well scripted in advance. Barring significant new developments, none of which will come about without major outside intervention, the accession of the Greek part of Cyprus in 2004 to the European Union will trigger a severe crisis between Turkey and the West. The crisis is set to begin, however, at the end of 2002, when the EU plans to issue invitations to prospective candidates.

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