Turkish foreign minister warns of Cyprus miss
BEIRUT / ANKARA – Anatolia News Agency
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks during a news conference after meeting with Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati. REUTERSThe Cyprus issue is at a crucial juncture and all parties must ensure that a chance for a solution is not wasted, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said.
“We are on the threshold of an important opportunity in the Cyprus issue, and it is important not to miss this opportunity,” Davutoğlu told reporters Jan. 15 following a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Beirut.
The foreign minister said Ban had also told him that Turkey’s initiatives on the Cyprus issue were important.
The secretary-general also attached importance to making rapid progress during a critical Cyprus summit that will be held in New York next week, said Davutoğlu.
Yesterday, Davutoğlu also met Ban’s special adviser in Cyprus, Alexander Downer.
Ankara urged Downer to schedule a multilateral conference with the participation of guarantor states during the New York meeting.
During his meeting with Downer, Davutoğlu also noted the flexible stance of Turkish Cypriots while pursuing Cyprus talks, diplomatic sources said.
Turkish Cypriot President Derviş Eroğlu and Greek Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Ban will hold their meeting in New York on Jan. 22 with the hopes of speeding up U.N.-sponsored talks that have been continuing since 2008.
Turkey aims to accelerate the process with a conference that would increase pressure on Cypriot leaders to reach an agreement for reunification before taking the document to a referendum on both sides of the island.