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Turkey keeps up pressure for CyProb talks

4 May 2013

The leader of the Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu, has criticised the South Cyprus government for delaying negotiations on the Cyprus problem.

Mainland Turkey’s main opposition party leader said that the Greek Cypriots should not use their economic crisis as an excuse to delay talks on reunifying the island.

“We are against [the delay] because we seek negotiations to be held independently of the economic crisis and to end the process with a healthy negotiation,” Kilicdaroglu said, after meeting with top Turkish Cypriot officials in Nicosia.

The EU bailout package for South Cyprus created anger and dismay about its terms and conditions. Businesses are struggling and job losses are inevitable in the South. Unemployment figures have shot up to 14.2% thus far.

Kilicdaroglu expressed his discontent over the pace of negotiations and urged the Turkish government to step up its efforts to resolve the issue.

TRNC President Dervis Eroglu who supports Kilicdaroglu, said that they had made all efforts to start negotiations at once.

UN Special Envoy to Cyprus, Alexander Downer, recently met both Cypriot presidents and the two leaders are expected to meet informally for dinner on May 29th.

In the meanwhile, Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Kasoulides said that October this year would be the earliest start date for peace talks and the South was on its knees right now.

Pointing out that South Cyprus might struggle economically for years, Eroglu emphasised that they had expressed the Turkish side’s willingness to start the negotiations to the Greek Cypriot President, Nicos Anastasiades on the phone as well as through the United Nations.

“But as far as I’ve seen Greek Cyprus is more likely to postpone the negotiations. It is not easy to say for now if talks will start in October. It is not possible to reach an agreement on Cyprus with only one side’s willingness,” he said.

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