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Turkish PM: Cyprus could be reunified immediately

Turkish prime minister Ahmed Davutoglou

By George Psyllides

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Tuesday blamed the Greek Cypriot side for the lack of a solution to the island’s division and suggested that Cyprus could be reunified immediately.

Speaking during a visit to the Turkish occupied northern part of the island, Davutoglu suggested the Turkish side had always showed good will but the Greek side did not reciprocate.

“We wanted Turkey, Greece, the TRNC (breakaway Turkish Cypriot state) and the Greek Cypriot administration to sit around the same table and think how they can turn the eastern Mediterranean into a region of peace,” the Turkish premier said. “But no matter how strong a good will did we display, unfortunately there was no equivalent response.”

Davutoglu said now was the time for action, saying time was being wasted.

“The national council in the Greek Cypriot side makes decision-making difficult,” he said, inviting Anastasiades to join them in resolving the issue.

“Come and let us make peace today, not tomorrow, this week, not the next, this year, not next year,” he added.

Davutoglu invited his Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras to join him in visiting the island’s two communities and have tea together.

He also urged the US and Britain to contribute in resolving the matter.

“Let us become an example for other crises,” he said.

But if Anastasiades cannot do this, he should say so.

“Either join us in finding a solution or let us lift the embargo and think of alternatives. We will never leave the Turkish Cypriots alone. This is our message,” the prime minister said.

The government condemned Davutoglu’s visit and questioned its timing, as well as that of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the beginning of the month.

Anastasiades was scheduled to have dinner with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on Tuesday while Erdogan arrived a few days before the new UN envoy’s first visit to Cyprus.

If Davutoglu and Turkey really desire a solution to the Cyprus problem they must abandon their unacceptable positions – including the recognition of the breakaway state – once and for all, government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said.

“The least Turkey can do if it really desires a solution to the Cyprus problem is to respond to President Anastasiades’ proposal for the return of the closed-off town of Varosha to its lawful residents,” he said. “Turkey must do a lot if it really desires a solution.”

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