Turkey ready to press reset button over Cyprus: EU minister

Turkey ready to press reset button over Cyprus: EU minister

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey ready to press reset button over Cyprus: EU minister

Newly elected Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades waves to supporters. REUTERS photo

EU Minister Egemen Bağış called on Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, who won the presidential election, to gather with his Turkish Cypriot counterparts at the earliest opportunity, noting that he was ready to host all elected leaders of the island on the Bosphorus, provided that they come to Istanbul together.

“We are ready to press the ‘reset’ button for resolution of the Cyprus issue,” Bağış told the Anatolia news agency yesterday, adding that every election is a new start.

“Within this context, our first advice to the new leader of the South Cyprus Greek Administration, the election of whom within the framework of democratic rules we congratulate, is his gathering with his counterparts in the KKTC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] at the earliest opportunity. After his meeting with [KKTC] Prime Minister İrsen Küçük and [KKTC] President Derviş Eroğlu; if they come to Istanbul, provided that they come all together, our invitation for having fish at a table overlooking the Bosphorus [stands]. We would be pleased to host all elected leaders of the island.”

Greek Cypriots elected a leader for their society but not a head of a state, Bağış underlined. “I hope that a permanent reunification takes place in the island and then the United States of Cyprus has a legitimate president.” Bağiş recalled that Anastasiades was one of the politicians to come out in favor of a 2004 plan to reunify the island proposed by Kofi Annan.

“The earlier stance of the elected person in favor of the Annan plan in the past can be considered as an appropriate choice he made in the past. However, this appropriate will does not have any meaning today or in the future as long as it does not continue on the same axis. We hope that this axis does not shift to other directions with pressure from different circles,” Bağiş said.

According to Bağış, Anastasiades has a “serious opportunity” to hold his will without bowing to pressure from other circles.