Varosha ‘non-starter’ for talks over Cyprus

Varosha ‘non-starter’ for talks over Cyprus

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Varosha ‘non-starter’ for talks over Cyprus

Foreign Minister Davutoğlu (R) meets UN envoy Downer in Ankara. AA photo

The Turkish foreign minister turned down a proposal from the Greek Cypriot administration regarding the closed city of Varosha (Maraş), which was handed over by the U.N. envoy to Cyprus’s Alexander Downer.

Varosha was not on the agenda of the Turkish side, and it could only be a part of the ultimate solution of the Cyprus dispute, Davutoğlu said at a meeting with Downer yesterday, a Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News.

The proposal, put forward by the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiadis, has been raised several times before and involves the Turkish side handing back Famagusta’s Varosha suburb to Greek Cypriots in exchange for some Greek Cypriot confidence building offers to Turkish Cypriots.

The talks that aimed to resolve the Cyprus issue are expected to commence in October, Downer told Davutoğlu.

The UN envoy also voiced hopes that the talks will end in a couple of months, which Ankara also welcomed, according to the Turkish diplomat.

“Neither the U.N., nor us want the talks be open-ended,” said the diplomat, “But bringing a deadline to the negotiations is not on the table, since the Greek side rejects such a timetable.”

Peace talks have been stalled since last year prior to the elections in Greek Cyprus.