NASA image of the island of Cyprus
Time may be running out to resolve the dispute between Turkey and Greece over Cyprus before the scheduled year-end referendum that will try to reunify the divided island, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
In an ominous warning, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said negotiations under way between Turkish and Greek representatives either will end the island’s division or “we would all have to consider alternative ways.”
“Everyone should fully understand that the negotiations offer the last chance,” Davutoglu said. “We do not want the status quo to linger on the island. Turkish Cypriots can live no more under economic isolation. There is an expression in English: ‘Enough is enough.’ The European Union needs to see Turkey’s efforts, and international actors must weigh in the next few months.”
A United Nations-sponsored peace plan in 2004 was rejected by Greek Cypriots, although it was accepted by Turkish Cypriots.
Their meeting follows a four-year hiatus.
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“Unfair embargoes on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus cannot continue,” Davutoglu said. “Either the status quo changes at the end of the talks and we build a peace and a security zone in the eastern Mediterranean or we would all have to consider alterative ways.”
In an apparent “good-cop, bad cop” approach, however, Turkish President Abdullah Gul sounded more conciliatory.
“Our sincere wish is that the leaders would reach a lasting settlement in their talks, and as part of this settlement, a referendum would be held by the end of this year,” Gul said.
He emphasized the need for a Turkish-Greek balance between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders.
“Our ultimate goal is to reach a lasting settlement on the island and to devise a separate area of cooperation in the European Union with Turkey, Greece and the entire island,” Gul said.
Talat pointed out there has been progress in certain areas in the talks but differences remain.
“We have no solid agreement as to when to conclude the talks but the goal is to devise completely a comprehensive solution,” Talat said.