The Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr Bulent Ecevit, has said that he will press for a resumption of talks on the future of the divided island of Cyprus.
The Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr Bulent Ecevit, has said that he will press for a resumption of talks on the future of the divided island of Cyprus. This follows two days of discussions with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Dr Waldheim, who flew to the Turkish capital of Ankara on Sunday (8 January) to try to get the talks going again. Dr Waldheim will also visit the parties to the talks, the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities on Cyprus, as well as Greece.
SYNOPSIS: On arrival at Ankara's Esenboga airport, Dr Waldheim was met by the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Mr Gunduz Okcun, who like other members of the Turkish Government had taken office only a few days before, after the defeat of the previous government.
The tow men were later to have their own talks on the question of Cyprus which since the Turkish invasion in 1974 has been divided between Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities. The Turkish invasion followed a shortlived coup d'etat aimed at union of the island with Greece.
In a symbolic gesture before getting down to talks with the Prime Minister, Dr Waldheim laid a wreath to commemorate Turkey's war dead, a number of whom were killed invading Cyprus. Of 40,000 troops who landed on the island three and a half years ago, over half still remain. Together they control about 40 percent of Cyprus.
Dr. Waldheims's talks with Mr Ecevit lasted two days. During that time the Turkish leader told him that Turkey favours the creation of a bi-regional sovereign state in Cyprus. He also said that deadlocked talks between Cyprus's Turkish and Greek communities should be expanded to include Greece and Turkey. But Cyprus's President Spyros Kyprianou has since rejected both proposals.