Turkey 'cannot join EU' as its presence remains: Greek Cyprus

Cypriot leader claimed that Turkey would not be able to join EU as long as its presence in northern Cyprus remained.

Turkey 'cannot join EU' as its presence remains: Greek Cyprus
Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias claimed on Thursday that Turkey would not be able to join the European Union as long as its presence in northern Cyprus remained.

"No. The answer is one word," Christofias said when asked by Reuters if he saw the possibility of Turkey joining the bloc as long as it maintained troops in Cyprus's north.

Cyprus has been ethnically divided since a Turkish invasion in 1974 caused by a brief Greek-inspired coup.

Ankara's ambitions to join the bloc have been frustrated what it said in part by the division of the island.

Abkara says that it support Cyprus reunification talks.

Turkey's State Minister for European Union membership talks Egemen Bagis met with Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Turgay Avci said.

"And for this national cause our hearts are beating as one with the government and the opposition. We are working together in coordination with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as well," Turkey's chief negotiator for EU talks said, Egemen Bagis, said.

The southern parts of Cyprus are run by a Greek Cypriot government headed by Christofias, and seen internationally as representing the whole of the island in the European Union although opposition of Turks.

The Mediterranean island is split by a buffer zone manned by one of the world's oldest United Nations peacekeeping forces.

Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has been holding reunification talks with Christofias since last September.

Neither side sees permanent partition as an option, but they have been unable to agree on how the island will be reunited. On paper, they agree to a bizonal federation, though there are disagreements on fundamental issues like power sharing.

Reuters
Last Mod: 06 Şubat 2009, 10:45
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Colin Mulcahy
Colin Mulcahy - 10 yıl Before

"No solution as long as there is a Turkish presence in North Cyprus", he says. But what about the Greek military presence in the South? Has everyone forgotten that?