Turkish Cypriot president sees progress in reunification talks

Turkish Cypriot president said he saw progress towards reaching a peace deal with Greek Cypriots at talks last month.

Turkish Cypriot president sees progress in reunification talks

Turkish Cypriot president Mehmet Ali Talat said on Friday he saw progress towards reaching a peace deal with Greek Cypriots at talks last month, even if details of any achievements remain vague.

"We made quite good progress on very thorny issues," Talat told a seminar in Brussels, speaking about the discussions held last month.

"Our original proposal to intensify talks is the best approach to the Cyprus problem," he added.

Talat was in Brussels to meet European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek. Parliamentarians have criticised Ankara for failing to carry out obligations to the EU to open its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot traffic.

Underscoring the difficulties, Greece's deputy foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas on Thursday called the latest talks "a step back" and said he was not optimistic.

Greek Cypriots, who do not recognise the breakaway enclave, represent the island in the EU.

The latest negotiations were on power-sharing and the economy. Other important areas are security guarantees and property claims by people displaced in the 1974 conflict which left the island divided between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Talat said the sides had moved closer to agreement in several areas but with an understanding that conclusions could be subject to further discussion.

"We didn't close any issues on purpose. Why? ... Let's see what progress we make on property, territory and then come back and conclude this by an approach of 'give-and-take'," he said.

One example, he said, was an agreement to have a joint police force and no military on the island. This would include a federal force and investigative authority that would deal with crimes such as terrorism and money laundering.

But details of how it and local units would be organised remained on the table.

Reuters

Last Mod: 06 Şubat 2010, 10:44
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