NICOSIA – It’s already been rejected by the occupying Turkish-Cypriot side, but Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides said the European Union should help broker attempts to bring together the island split by unlawful 1974 Turkish invasions.
Hardline Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said he doesn’t want reunification, only United Nations recognition of the occupied northern third where Turkey keeps 35,000 troops it said will be there forever.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during whose terms hopes of joning the EU that began in 2005 are evaporating, doesn’t want the bloc involved in any talks, nor does Tatar.
The legitimate Greek-Cypriot government is a member of the EU and Turkey has been defying soft sanctions from the bloc in continuing to drill for oil and gas in parts of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ.)
“The Republic of Cyprus is a European Union member state, the Cyprus problem is a European problem, and its resolution directly affects the European Union,” Christodoulides said after meeting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, said the Reuters news agency.
“In the current geopolitical environment, following the Russian invasion in Ukraine, the European Union can – and must – contribute decisively in the restart of talks, always within the United Nations framework,” he said.
Christodoulides said the EU had the “tools and the incentives that could lead to a mutually-agreed solution for the Cypriot people, Greek and Turkish Cypriots, for Turkey, for the European Union.”
That’s a deal-breaker for Tatar and Turkey, the last round of talks aimed at finding a solution collapsing in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana over the refusal to remove Turkish troops and demands from Turkey and Turkish-Cypriots for the right of military intervention.