The idea of holding referenda in the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-cypriot communities of Cyprus, to achieve a solution of the Cyprus issue, ahead of Cyprus’ EU Presidency, in July 2012, is a false timetable, British MEP Andrew Duff said in a statement .

According to a press release, following the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayip Erdogan’s visit to the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, Duff said that “Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Davutoglu have missed another great opportunity to reconcile the two Cypriot communities and, by doing so, to resurrect the prospect of Turkish membership of the European Union”.

“Not only does the Turkish government cling to outmoded hostile rhetoric but it raises an entirely new obstacle to improving relations with the EU” he added.

Noting that Cyprus will take the chair of the EU Council in July next year, British MEP, added that “the Cyprus government will be obliged to represent the views even of those governments which favour Turkish accession to the EU. Instead of using this opportunity to progress their case for membership, the Turkish leadership has blown it”.

“The idea of another referendum on the island next year in advance of the Cypriot EU presidency is ridiculous false trail in the absence of a genuine deal between Christofias and Eroglu, the leaders of the two communities, backed by Turkey and the whole international community. 2012 is a false timetable” he underlined.

According to Andrew Duff “the Cypriot problem is and will remain intractable in the absence of outside involvement. Unless Turkey trusts the EU to help reach a settlement there will be no settlement. The good offices of the UN will not be enough, and they are, in any case, almost exhausted”.

Andrew Duff, who had high level talks on both sides of the island recently and who is a member of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, added: ”Instead of moving on from the failed Annan Plan of 2004, the Turks have actually gone backwards – thereby putting themselves alongside the reactionary nationalism of the Greek Cypriot Church”.

In his statement Andrea Duff noted that during his visit to the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, Turkish Prime Minister should have expressed sympathy with the current plight of the Greek Cypriots, arrange meetings directly with President of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias and propose the establishment of a genuine process of truth and reconciliation. Back in Turkey, Erdogan “should have begun by now the long process of preparing Turkish public opinion to back a bizonal, bicommunal federal Cyprus and the normalisation of relations with all the member states of the European Union which he purports to want to join” Duff said.

”In the light of this setback, one must now question whether the AKP leadership is or has ever been truly committed to a European vocation for Turkey”, he pointed out.

Source: Cyprus Weekly

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