Turkey and Greek Cyprus should take the first step together: Greek Cypriot PM
ATHENS - Hürriyet
Foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides speaks during a press conference with Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos in Athens on March 6. Kasoulides has called on Ankara to convey positive messages and make a joint first step in a short interview with daily Hürriyet's correspondent Yorgo Kirbaki, published March 30. AFP photoThe Greek Cypriot foreign minister called on Turkey to take a joint first step to find a solution in the reunification of the island of Cyprus, in a short interview published in daily Hürriyet March 30. "We will send positive messages and I hope the messages we receive will also be positive," Ioannis Kasoulides said, adding however that the Greek Cypriot government could not guarantee the reunification.
Kasoulides criticized the remarks voiced by his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoğlu, this week pleading for the acceleration of the negotiations while threatening to push for a two-state solution if those were bound to fail.
The propositions of speeding up talks and sharing the oil and gas resources were not new, Kasoulides said. "Turkey heats and serves the same meal all over again."
The Greek Cypriot minister also reserved strong words for the comments made by Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış on the economic crisis that the southern part of the island is passing through. Bağış had connected the massive crisis to the ineptitude of the Greek Cypriot government, saying that Turkey was amenable should Greek Cyprus be forced to exit the euro and want to switch to the Turkish Lira. He also interpreted as a "conspiracy" the burning of a Turkish flag during a protest in Nicosia.
"The first step should be to scatter the clouds of accusation, irony and polemic created by Bağış," Kasoulides said, adding that both sides should convey positive messages.