Former UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said in an interview with TRT he has not lost any sleep over his calls for a two-state solution to the Cyprus problem, reiterating that he regrets his role in the Republic gaining EU accession as a divided island.
Straw further argued that the Greek Cypriots gambled and won during the crucial period of the 2004 UN referendum and leading up to EU accession.
He said that the Greek Cypriots campaigned against the Annan plan despite knowing that their behaviour was wrong as they knew EU accession loomed ahead regardless.
He said it is a “shame” that the north has been excluded.
“I regret having participated in this decision,” Straw told state broadcaster TRT, in comments picked up by Kibris and the Cyprus News Agency on Tuesday.
“The only way to overcome the deadlock is for the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to come to an agreement in this process.
“However, if this does not happen, it would be advisable for the international community – including the UK – to support the two-state solution,” Straw said.
Asked for comment on his previous statements of a similar nature, Straw was unphased.
“Although I am pleased to say that many people in the north wrote to thank me, I think I have not been popular in the south for a long time. That’s why I haven’t lost any sleep over it,” he said.
Straw served in the post between 2001 and 2006, and recently penned an article for magazine Politico where he accused Greek Cypriot negotiators of “serious duplicity”.
He said the UK, as a guarantor power of Cyprus, should “break the spell of Cyprus, put the two-state solution on the table, and seek to persuade other partners that it is the best way to unfreeze this conflict”.