EU chief backs Cypriot reunification
BRUSSELS – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoThe president of the European Parliament said on Oct. 11 that the European Union would welcome a reunited Cyprus.
Martin Schulz’s remarks came during the opening ceremony of a photography exhibition, “Beneath the Carob Trees: The lost lives of Cyprus,” in Brussels.
Schulz said the EU would not be whole until the entire island becomes a part of the bloc, “because we believe that the reunification of Cyprus is bringing together those who belong to each other.”
The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot administration in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.
Also speaking on Oct. 11, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said he supported the local leaders, the president of the Turkish Cyprus Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, in reunification talks.
“If we lose this chance, we will not get a second one,” Juncker said, referring to ongoing negotiations.
Reunification talks between the Greek and Turkish communities on the island resumed in May 2015 and are expected to be resolved by the end of this year with the formation of a federal administration.
Previous negotiations stalled in October 2014 due to a dispute over gas exploration.