Turkey backs Cyprus unity plan

Turkey's military and political leaders have called for a resumption of peace talks on reuniting the divided island of Cyprus.

    Cyprus is joining European Union on 1 May

    In a statement issued on Friday, Turkey's National Security Council said it accepted a United Nation's peace blueprint but that the "realities of the island" must be taken into account.

    "A consensus was reached on the need to start trying to revive the negotiations process in Cyprus," the statement said.

    Talks broke down 10 months ago after Turkish Cypriots rejected the UN plan.

    Turkish interests

    The phrase "realities of the island" alludes to Turkey's insistence that the Turkish Cypriot enclave of northern Cyprus be accepted as an equal partner of the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot south.

    Only Ankara recognizes the north as an independent state.

    Ankara has been under heavy international pressure to push the Turkish Cypriots into accepting a reunification deal before Cyprus enters the European Union on 1 May.

    Failure to reach a deal would mean only the Greek Cypriot government joining the EU, a move that could only widen the island's ethnic divide.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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