Turkish Cyprus 'hopeful' over talks progress

TRNC foreign minister says intensity fuelling discussions has not been seen since the 2004 'Annan plan'

Turkish Cyprus 'hopeful' over talks progress

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Emine Colak has said that the intensity fuelling ongoing talks about the island’s future has not been seen since the ill-fated ‘Annan plan’.

The 2004 UN proposal backed a ‘United Republic of Cyprus’ as a federation of two states. It was supported by a majority of Turkish Cypriots but failed to command enough backing from Greek Cypriots.

Since then, political tensions in the long-divided island have eased since fully-fledged talks resumed on May 15.

Colak told Anadolu Agency on Friday: "An opportunity that we have not taken since the [Annan] plan was found. We hope it comes true."

"I call on both sides in the island: We need to intensify this constructive atmosphere and solve possible challenges with consensus culture," Colak added.

On May 28, Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades met at the UN's Good Office on the island. During their talks, the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders agreed on a five-step plan to resolve the Cyprus issue.

The steps included opening more crossing points, interconnecting the power grids, allowing mobile phone interoperability on both sides of the island, resolving the issue of radio frequency conflicts, and forming a joint committee on gender equality.

The Greek Cypriot administration had unilaterally suspended the talks last October after Turkey issued an advisory on behalf of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for seismic research off the coast of Cyprus.

The island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot government in the northern one third and a Greek Cypriot administration in the southern two-thirds after a 1974 military coup by Greece was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor state.

Colak suggested that Greek Cypriots are leaning more towards a possible solution in comparison to 2004.

"Hopefully, Turkish Cypriots also support the permanent solution, same as before. We are hopeful about creating a formula which includes highest-level gains and our society may accept," she said.

Colak also stated that Turkish Cypriots feel safe on the island because of Turkey.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Ağustos 2015, 15:43