Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cyprus: Turkey calls for reunification referendum

PanARMENIAN.Net/ Turkey wants talks aimed at reunifying Cyprus to conclude soon and a referendum by the end of 2009, President Abdullah Gul (photo) told a news conference with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on Monday.

The two sides launched reunification talks last year.

"We want the negotiations to be concluded speedily. If possible, we want to see (the result of the negotiations) submitted to the public through a referendum by the end of this year," Gul said.

Talat said there was progress in some areas in negotiations with the Greek Cypriots, while some others remain difficult to solve. He did not elaborate.

Cyprus joined the EU as a divided island when Greek Cypriots in the South rejected the UN reunification plan in twin referendums in 2004 even though the Turkish Cypriots in the north overwhelmingly supported it.

The promise made by EU foreign ministers before the referendums to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and establish direct trade with North Cyprus remains unfulfilled.
Published by Mike Hitchen,
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