World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkish President Abdullah Gul has stressed the importance of the need to reach a peace agreement on the divided island of Cyprus under current UN-sponsored talks after 40 years of political deadlock.
Gul addressed the press in Lefkosa on Saturday, where he came to attend the 40th anniversary ceremony of Turkey’s ‘Operation Atilla’ when thousands of troops were sent to protect the island’s Turkish population after a Greece-backed coup d’etat on 20 June 1974, before he is due to step down from the Turkish presidency on 28 August.
Speaking in a joint press conference with his TRNC counterpart, Dervis Eroglu, Gul said: "There has been a tranquil situation on the island for 40 years - not a peace deal."
Referring to a 2004 plan put forward by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to reunify the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities, Gul said: "Both the EU and the UN supported the peace plan in 2004. I hope that such an environment can be established again."
The plan was defeated by a "no" vote in a referendum on the Greek portion of the island, while Turkish Cypriots voted in favor of the Annan plan.
Gul said open-ended negotiations, without a timetable, had lost the island a chance to arrive at a permanent peace deal.
He added: "If a partnership-driven solution is not possible, then other alternatives should be on the table - we should consider negotiating different solution alternatives."
Eroglu also emphasized that the Turkish peace mission paved the way for permanent peace in the island.
Eroglu decorated Gul with a state medal during the visit for his services to Turkish Cyprus state.
The island of Cyprus has remained divided into Greek and Turkish sides since a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by a Turkish peace mission to aid Turkish Cypriots in the north in 1974.
A de facto ceasefire has existed between the two parts since that date.
The latest round of negations in the island started in February.
Turkey will choose its next president in elections on 10 August.
Conservative lawmakers say Britain should negotiate terms of its exit from the European Union before holding its next parliamentary election
Following successful end of Fallujah operation, Iraqi PM Abadi calls on Iraqis to celebrate the victory; announces fresh operation to liberate Mosul soon
'It's really important we stand guard against any rise in hate crimes or abuse by those who might use last week's referendum as cover to seek to divide us,' says London mayor
Britain's vote to leave EU could be a great opportunity, Italian PM Renzi says
Five people were killed in a spate of attacks in Iraq on Monday
France is the Saudi Arabia’s third largest foreign investor and the top oil importer from the Kingdom.
Authorities hope the completed project will increase economic development
For the first time, Article 50, the process that will pave the way for the UK to leave the EU with Boris Johnson suggesting that Britain should wait before actually starting that process.
The Czech Foreign Minister has said that Jean-Claude Juncker should resign over his failure to prevent the UK exit from the bloc
The move from Sudan is said to be first move of its kind between 2 countries since separation of South Sudan in 2011
With vote count almost complete, Popular Party gains seats, fails to break deadlock after inconclusive December polls
Haider al-Abadi has urged all Iraqis to celebrate recapture of Fallujah after more than two years of ISIL rule.
The Pope has said that a new "union" was needed to prevent the "Balkanisation" of Europe.
Canada will host Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and U.S. President Barack Obama in Ottawa next week
A neo-Nazi rally has erupted in violence after a stabbing spree injured ten people at the rally
Trump has hailed the UK over the Brexit providing fertile ground for Clinton to take a hit at Trumps' vested personal interest in his UK businesses