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Cyprus EU Membership Part of Bigger Bargain

wikileaks cyprusCyprus was accepted as an EU member because Greece 'insisted on Cypriot admission as the price of agreeing to some of the northern European candidates,' said former External Relations Commissioner Christ Patten in 2004 according to documents leaked by Wikileaks.org as part of its US Cablegate dump.

Patten's remarks during a dinner with US ambassador to the EU Rockwell Schnabel were recorded and sent to the US from its embassy in Brussels. More extracts from the text of the secret cable goes:

"The next steps for the Commission are figuring out how to spend money in Northern Cyprus. Patten expects the EC to open an office to oversee their assistance. While there will be legal hurdles to managing the process, he (Patten) was confident the Commission would find a way."

"Patten doubted the Greek Cypriots would openly oppose any efforts, noting that they were on their heels diplomatically after their blatant efforts to stifle opposing views on the referendum. This incident, Patten said, was a sad reflection on the realities of EU enlargement: Some of the new members were people you would only want to dine with if you have a very long spoon.  Not that the EU should have been surprised by Papadopolous behavior, Patten said, since they knew well who they were dealing with: Milosevic's  lawyer."

Wikileaks.org is in the process of releasing 250,000 secret and confidential cables from US embassies around the world. Its founder, Julian Assange, has been placed on Interpol's red alert list as he is wanted for questioning in Sweden on molestation allegations, which he has denied.

The US diplomatic community are in frantic damage-control mode as the leaked cables reveal frank observations from US officials which appear quite different to normal public-consumption government press releases and photo opportunities.

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