World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey and the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) are hoping to resume peace talks in November to end the decades-old division despite doubts about the commitment from the Greek side, Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu said on Wednesday.
In a joint press conference, both Davutoglu and his TRNC counterpart Ozdil Nami emphasized the importance of starting negotiations, which have stalled for 18 months in part because of financial turmoil engulfing the island, Turkish officials said.
"This issue cannot be allowed to linger on", said Nami. "Both sides should prepare their own peace plans before the end of the year and they should get their respective peoples to discuss these plans and vote on them in a referendum," he said.
The island has been 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 in 1974. Turkey keeps some 30,000 troops in the north and is the only nation to recognize the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
There appears to be reasons to be hopeful, as newly elected Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiadis is known for his efforts on finding a solution, and for voting “yes” in the referendum for Annan Plan in 2004.
On the other hand, a long period of failed negotiations has left the Turkish side feeling despair and distrust.
"Turkey and the TRNC have been serious about this process, but the same commitment has not been shown by the Greek side," Davutoglu said.
The last big push for peace came in 2004 when a plan proposed by then-U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan was put forward. However it was rejected by Greek Cypriots in a popular vote.
The Turkish side has supported efforts under the UN's Good Offices Mission towards finding a just and viable settlement to the Cyprus issue. However, the Greek Cypriot side rejected the 1985-86 Draft Framework Agreements, the UN sponsored Set of Ideas of 1992 and the package of Confidence Building Measures of 1994.
TRNC President Dervis Eroglu echoed this sentiment last week after meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in New York. "The Turkish side wants to solve the problem and has proved this with the referendum but the Greek side has shown they don't want to solve the problem by rejecting all the plans proposed so far."
The solution proposed by the Turkish side is a federal government based on the equality of two founding states, that is, a new state where there is no hierarchy between the two compounds.Last Mod: 10 Ekim 2013, 12:27