Greek Cyprus: No start to negotiations without preconditions

Source: todayszaman.com

Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades has stated that if Greek Cyprus’ preconditions are not met, starting negotiations with the Turkish Cypriots to solve the dispute on the east Mediterranean island of Cyprus will be out of the question.

“If the basic principles, such as living together in peace and free from occupation, are not … guarantee[d], it is out of [the] question to start an unfruitful dialogue,” Anastasiades said on Sunday.

Referring to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s remarks in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) on Saturday, Anastasiades said the Greek Cypriot side was expecting promising remarks from Davutoğlu, but that those published in the media have led Greek Cyprus to lose good faith.

With long-awaited reunification negotiations between the Greek and Turkish sides on Cyprus expected to resume months ago, the Turkish Cypriots have come up with a new proposal that aims to revive stalled talks that would pave the way for the solution of the island dispute.

After the proposal was declared, Greek Cyprus stated on Saturday that breakaway Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish government have scuttled chances of restarting talks to reunify the island. Greek Cypriot government spokesman Christos Stylianides blamed Turkish Cypriots for “extreme and intransigent” positions, adding that Anastasiades was unwilling to now enter into talks “for the sake of talks.”

Meanwhile, Greek Cypriot politicians have criticized UN Special Envoy to Cyprus Alexander Downer for meeting with Davutoğlu on Saturday at the Turkish Embassy in Lefkoşa, where he took the Turkish Cypriots’ new proposal to convey to the Greek Cypriot side.

Cyprus has been divided between the Greek Cypriot south and the Turkish Cypriot north since 1974, when Turkey sent troops to the island following a Greek-inspired coup that sought to unite the island with Greece.

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