In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Greek foreign minister Dmitri Bitsios has accused Turkey of failing to contribute to a solution of the Cyprus problem.
In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Greek foreign minister Dmitri Bitsios has accused Turkey of failing to contribute to a solution of the Cyprus problem. He told the Assembly on Friday (30 September) that the Turkish Cypriots had taken a 'negative' attitude towards peace negotiations. Relations between the two communities on Cyprus have been tense ever since Turkey invaded the island in 1974 and took over large areas of Greek-Cypriot territory. In New York U.S. Secretary of state Cyprus Vance has been holding secret talks with the Turkish foreign minister, Ihsan Sabri Caglayangil.
SYNOPSIS: The Turkish government has said it is ready to move towards a solution of the Cyprus problem.
But the Greek foreign minister told the UN that it was 'typical' that the Turkish Cypriots had not yet responded to a proposal by the Greeks for a resumption of talks in Nicosia.
Mr. Bitsios said the territorial aspect of the problem was one of the most important factors of any solution. He said it was unacceptable that the Turkish minority of 18 percent could keep in its region the 40 percent of the island now occupied by the Turkish army. That would perpetuate the problem of the 200,000 Greek refugees in the south of the island.
In Turkey, government sources said on Thursday (29 SEPTEMBER) that the United States and Britain had been informed of the Turkish readiness to move towards a settlement. Turkey would make an agreed public statement on how it saw a phased solution of the Cyprus problem. In return the American government would seek Congressional approval for an end to the embargo on arms and give Turkey military aid worth 1,000 million U.S. dollars (GBP588 million) over four years.
But in his speech the Greek foreign minister stressed that if the Turkish government and the Turkish Cypriots did not adopt reasonable and moderate positions in the immediate future, the few hopes for an early solution would fade away.