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EUROPE > Turkish PM Erdoğan can solve Cyprus: Ex-Greek PM Mitsotakis

Cansu Çamlıbel - Hürriyet

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Former Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis (R) talks with daily Hürriyet reporter Cansu Çamlıbel. Hürriyet photo, Levent KULU

Former Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis (R) talks with daily Hürriyet reporter Cansu Çamlıbel. Hürriyet photo, Levent KULU

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan could find a solution to the Cyprus problem with less effort than he is consuming to solve the Kurdish issue, according to former Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis.

“The Turkish government and Prime Minister Erdoğan are really trying to solve the Kurdish issue. He could find a solution to the Cyprus problem with less effort,” Mitsotakis told daily Hürriyet in a recent interview.

“Erdoğan is a strong politician who is able to take different decisions. That is why we can hope that he will support a solution to the Cyprus issue,” he said.

“Turkey could persuade the Turkish Cypriot community on talks. New [Greek Cypriot] President Nicos Anastasiades is a rational politician. Of course, he faces economic problems, and he has many things to do,” he said.

“He cannot deal with the problem immediately. But I fully believe that he will be a really serious and constructive negotiator,” said the former prime minister, 95, who held the post between 1990 and 1993.

Mitsotakis said Greece could not ignore Cyprus under any circumstances. “It is a part of Hellenism; it is a part of our soul. This is why we really want a viable and functional solution. This problem has poisoned our bilateral relations for decades.”

Division will be a ‘tragedy’

Konstantinos Mitsotakis admitted that the Greeks had made mistakes in the past, just like the Turks. “During the last decade, both sides have made mistakes. I don’t say that only Turkey made mistakes, we did as well. But this belongs to the past, we have to look to the future. Finding a solution to the Cyprus problem will not only be a benefit for the two sides, but also for the region in general. Today, the Cyprus issue is in a post-mature situation. A division will be a tragedy for Cyprus and a permanent cause of problems for both our countries,” he said.

April/23/2013

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