NICOSIA – It’s already been rejected by the occupying Turkish-Cypriot side but President Nikos Christodoulides is trying to persuade the other 26 leaders of European Union member states to push them to get involved in trying to bring the island together.
He said the EU could play a key role in solving the dilemma that has evaded an answer since two unlawful Turkish invasions in 1974 seized and occupied the northern third, and where 35,000 troops are kept.
A briefing was organised as a communication point on the agenda, without discussion, the Cyprus News Agency reported, giving him a chance to push one of his major campaign pitches.
Christodoulides discussed his proposal with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, while a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron was also scheduled during meetings of the heads of states in Brussels.
Government spokesman Constantinos Letymbiotis told CyBC radio that Christodoulides’ first contacts were positive without explaining what that meant and no details, those comments generally seen as polite diplomacy.
Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said he doesn’t want the EU involved nor will talk reunification that has failed for decades, and insisted the United Nations and world must recognize the isolated, occupied territory.
Letymbiotis said Christodoulides prepared a detailed non-paper that includes a road map and incentives for Turkey, with the aim of breaking the deadlock in negotiations seeking a resolution in the national problem, said The Cyprus Mail.
Christodoulides was criticized by the opposition for failing to inform local parties about the details of his proposal which he said during his campaign that he would to try to involve them and bring a consensus.
Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos said separately that while the EU has been involved in talks that it was as an observer, the last round collapsing I July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.
Those negotiations fell apart when then Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said Turkish soldiers would never leave and that Turkey wanted the right of further military intervention.
Christodoulides met with Tatar shortly after being elected in February but that was a general chit-chat photo opportunity with no real business on the table and any real discussions will have to wait until after Turkey’s May 14 elections.
The UN has still not appointed a special representative to Cyprus as the Turkish Cypriot side is refusing to cooperate on the matter, Kombos said.
“The EU could operate as catalyst over this and have a role not just in restarting talks but turning them to substantial results. We don’t want to sit at negotiating table and hear extreme views. We want to move forward,” he said.