Anastasiades Tells Tatar: Let’s Talk Cyprus Reunification again

NICOSIA – Although Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said he doesn’t want reunification of the divided island, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades sent him a letter asking for another try at it.

In the six page document, Anastasiades – whose government is a member of the European Union that Turkey has been trying fruitlessly since 2005 to join – asked Tatar to sit down with him to talk about bringing the island together.

Tatar, a hardliner, has instead demanded that the United Nations and world recognize the occupied northern third that’s accepted only by Turkey and where a 35,000-strong Turkish army is kept.

The Cypriot newspaper exclusively reported that the letter was dated May 23 and that Anastasiades said that, “We must negotiate in what is possible and realistic and not in what is desirable but impossible to achieve,” the paper said.

But Anastasiades said that he won’t accept Tatar’s insistence on two separate states and the Turkish-Cypriot leader earlier said he won’t even discuss reunification, likely leaving the letter to be ignored or rejected.

Still, Anastasiades – breaking his own vow not to negotiate as long as Turkey, which seized the northern third of the island in two 1974 invasions, is drilling for energy in Cypriot waters – said he would satisfy the Turkish side, the details not given about how far he would go with concessions.

Anastasiades also said the Turkish troops on the occupied side were a deal-breaker for him but is still nevertheless willing to start talking again even as Tatar digs in his heels and pushes his own agenda.



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