Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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Media Watch 2011

19 July 2011
Source: Famagusta Gazette
Author: Carol Ament / Famagusta Gazette Online
Comment: Lobby for Cyprus does not consider that the UN-sponsored Annan Plan of 2004 would have reunified Cyprus but that it would have brought about the permanent division of the island on racial grounds and cement Turkey's policy of apartheid in Cyprus.
Erdogan sends thunderbolt on Cyprus talks
The Turkish Prime Minister has sent a thunderbolt to the United Nations and leaders of Cyprus by announcing that his country is no longer prepared to accept the concessions it has agreed to in order to help with the reunification of Cyprus in line with a UN plan back in 2004.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Turkish side will accept nothing short of recognition of a two-state solution on the island, effectively meaning if the current round of UN sponsored talks fail Turkey will likely seek international recognition for the break-away state. 

The Turkish prime minister said Turkey no longer agrees to the return of Morphou) and Karpas to the Greek Cypriots, as envisioned in the failed Annan plan Erdogan, who arrives in Cyprus later today, said 2012 was a final deadline for a settlement on the island. 

“We will see if this is resolved by 2012 or not. If it is not, we will have to find solutions ourselves,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency on Tuesday. 

The Turkish side has long warned that talks to reunite Cyprus will not continue forever and that Ankara might seek international recognition for the north. 

Ankara has often criticised the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government for stalling tactics and blasted their refusal to use a timetable to achieve a solution. 

The government in Nicosia say the settlement process should continue without “suffocating timeframes and arbitration”, but concerns have mounted that little has been achieved at the talks since they were launched in 2008. 

“There are alternatives that we will discuss with our Turkish Cypriot brothers. I mean, this process [of reunification] shall stop if necessary. What are we supposed to do if it is not working?” the Turkish prime minister asked. 

Erdogan dismissed once again withdrawing troops from the island. “We had agreed to withdraw troops under the Annan plan. They [the Greek Cypriots] did not accept it. So, they lost [their chance].” 

The United Nations are reportedly becoming increasing frustrated with the lack of progress in the Cyprus talks and speaking in Geneva last week the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon left little room for doubt that the UN was ready to see the process come to its end, one way or another. 

“The leaders have agreed to enter into an intensive period of negotiations on the core issues when they return to the island. They will focus on finding a way through the difficult core issues. “I have every expectation that by October the leaders will be able to report that they have reached convergence on all core issues, and we will meet that month in New York,” said Ban. 

“This will take the Cyprus negotiations close to their conclusion and would allow me to give a positive report to the Security Council on the matter. It would also pave the way for me to work with the parties towards convening a final, international conference,” he added. 

Responding to Mr. Erdogans remarks, President Christofias expressed hope the Turkish side would “change (their) behavior in order to have progress”, noting that today’s statements by Erdogan “are absolutely condemnable and cynical and if this is the line that the Turkish side will pursue, there will be no prospect for any progress”. 

Christofias said that he senses that the UN are also offended by Erdogan’s statements, noting that the UN also wish for genuine progress during the talks. 

Invited to comment on the information for a unilateral proposal on behalf of the Turkish side regarding the opening of Famagusta, President said that “upon Erdogan’s illegal visit to the occupied areas, the UN and others in the international scene, would have expect a positive move on his behalf rather than incendiary statements”.

He added that “if this is Turkey’s official stance, it means they want recognition of the pseudostate”.