Call for Germany to help Cyprus talks
(MENAFN- The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Turkish Cypriot foreign minister says Germany bears 'historical responsibility' for division of island.
Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Ozdil Nami called on Germany on Friday to encourage Greek Cypriots to find a political solution to the 50-year division of the island.
"Germany bears historical responsibility because it played a key role in EU's decision in 2004 to accept the divided island as a member to the union," Nami told Anadolu Agency on the final day of a two-day visit to Berlin.
He said that EU lost an important lever in achieving a settlement by granting the Greek Cypriot administration EU membership.
"We believe that Germany bears historical responsibility to put an end to the isolation of Turkish Cypriots and to use its influence over Greek Cypriots for a solution," Nami added, underlining the EU promise not to leave Turkish Cypriots isolated.
Turkey is the only country to recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
"Today Greek Cypriots are using all the advantages and facilities of EU membership," Nami said. "But we Turkish Cypriots are deprived of them."
He asked for Germany to push for initiatives such as direct trade with Northern Cyprus, direct flights to Ercan airport and Turkish Cypriot representation in the European Parliament.
- Lost opportunity in 2004
In 2004, Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots went to the polls to decide on then UN Secretary General's Kofi Annan's plan for a federation of two states to unify the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities.
The plan was supported by 65 percent of Turkish Cypriots but only 24 percent of Greek Cypriots backed it.
Negotiations between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots in 2013 failed to make significant progress.
Nami accused the Greek Cypriot side of refusing to make any political concessions but said he was hopeful for a change in attitude under international pressure.
"The international community is now demonstrating a strong political will towards a final solution after more than 50 years of conflict," he said.
The election of pro-unification President Mustafa Akinci on April 26 could give the talks fresh momentum, he added.
Akinci announced on Monday that negotiations between the TRNC and the Greek Cypriot administration would soon resume and a date is expected to be set on May 11 when Akinci meets Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.
Nami is expected to resign his post as foreign minister to represent the TRNC in the negotiations, which have been on hold since October.
A joint administration collapsed in 1963 and the island has been divided since a 1974 military coup by Greece was followed by Turkey's peace operation as a guarantor state.
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