Bağış urges political equality for Cyprus

Bağış urges political equality for Cyprus

WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
Bağış urges political equality for Cyprus

EU Minister Bağış meets with Turkish Cypriot leader Eroğlu (R) in Nicosia in this file photo. Bağış says it was a mistake to approve Greek Cypriot administration’s membership. REUTERS photo

European Union Minister Egemen Bağış said a solution based on political equality was beneficial for the future of Turkey, as well as the security of Cyprus and Europe.

Speaking on the Bayrak TV channel of northern Cyprus yesterday, Bağış said that a solution could be reached only by the compromise by the two sides of the island, adding that it should become clear whether Cyprus talks would be concluded and a solution would be found by the end of the year. Bağış said it was a mistake to approve Greek Cypriot administration’s membership to the EU, and EU officials confessed that too. Seventy percent of Europe’s required energy resources were transported from within Turkey’s borders, and Europe did not have the chance to reach those resources without Turkey’s contribution, Bağış said.

“Unfortunately 26 countries were not able to see how a single country put reservations on their interests,” he said. If a solution was not found by June 2012, the party responsible would be the Greek Cypriot administration, and the whole world should know that, he said.

Commenting on Turkey’s relations with the EU, Bağış said Turkey would bring a different momentum to the EU process and would not give up on the EU. Turkey’s national income per capita tripled in the last nine years without being an EU member, he said, adding that the growth rate of Turkey was 10.2 percent in the first half of 2011, and 92 percent of global capital came from the EU countries to Turkey.

Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot President Derviş Eroğlu said the attitude of the Greek Cypriot administration in the Eastern Mediterranean made it more compulsory to reach an agreement for the Cyprus problem. Eroğlu defined the Eastern Mediterranean as a “circle of fire.”

On the contrary, Greek Cypriot President Demetris Christofias said they are not close to agreeing on a solution because the two sides have very different views. According to a Greek Cypriot radio broadcast, Christofias said there are many obstacles in the negotiation process and made a solidarity call. Christofias said progress on the issues of administration, property ownership and citizenship were limited, but there was progress on economy, security and EU issues.