Turkey looks to relaunch Cyprus peace talks

Turkey seeks to persuade Greek Cypriot administration to reconsider decision to withdraw from negotiations on reuniting divided island

Turkey looks to relaunch Cyprus peace talks

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkey has called on Greece, the U.S., EU and UK to put pressure on the Greek Cypriot administration to review its decision to withdraw from peace talks aimed at reuniting the divided island of Cyprus.

The call, made by Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir on Friday, came after the Greek Cypriot administration suspended talks over the divided island on Tuesday after Turkey sent a ship to monitor an oil and gas exploration mission off of the Cyprus coast.

Bozkir said during a meeting with Turkish Cypriot Ambassador in Ankara, Mustafa Lakadamyali "We [Turkey] hope that the Greek Cypriot administration will change its decision and result-oriented negotiations will restart."

"The natural resources of the island do not only belong to the Greek Cypriot side. Turkish Cypriots also have the right [to use them]. It is unacceptable that Greek Cypriot side wants to use them on its own." 

'Pointless decision' 

He called on both sides to work towards a solution to reunite the island and urged the guarantor powers to dissuade the Greek Cypriot side from its "pointless" decision. 

"Negotiations are the only way to reach a solution," said Ambassador Lakadamyali, calling on the Greek Cypriot side to return to the negotiating table.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry said late on Wednesday that the Greek Cypriot administration had been "insincere" about the peace talks.

Greece blames Turkey

Meanwhile, the Greek Ministry of Foreign of Affairs has released a statement on Thursday claiming that Turkey has raised tensions that “have undermined the negotiation process for the resolution of the Cyprus issue.” 

The negotiations between both sides of the island had resumed in February after a two-year pause. The last round of talks had collapsed due to the euro zone debt crisis and because it was the Greek Cypriot side's turn to occupy the EU rotating presidency in 2012.

The Greek Foreign Ministry contested the Turkish position, saying that Greece was not participating in the Cyprus settlement.

The statement added that if Turkey wants to, it can contribute effectively to the new talks between the two leaders, to the progress of the negotiations, and to the stability of the Eastern Mediterranean, through moves that respect international law.

Talks abandoned

The Greek Cypriot administration is a member of the EU.

It is internationally recognized except by Turkey, which remains the only country that recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

 U.S.-brokered negotiations between both sides resumed in February after a two-year pause. 

Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Dervis Eroglu, the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, were to hold their first meeting on Tuesday in a UN-controlled buffer zone on the island.

But, after learning a Turkish corvette had been sent to monitor the Greek-Cypriot exploration, Anastasiades abandoned the talks.

The island of Cyprus has remained divided into Greek and Turkish parts since a Greek-Cypriot coup was followed by a Turkish peace mission to aid Turkish Cypriots in the north of the island in 1974.

The Greek Cypriot administration is a member of the EU. It is internationally recognized, but not by Turkey, which remains the only country that recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

 

Last Mod: 10 Ekim 2014, 14:58
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