Turkey urges EU to take ‘balanced’ position on Cyprus row

Ankara has urged the European Union to take a fair position in handling the Cyprus problem, saying that its statements show how difficult it is for the 28-member bloc to find a lasting solution for a perennial conflict in the Mediterranean island.

A statement Turkish Foreign Ministry released on Tuesday has said that outgoing EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy’s remarks on Cyprus display that the EU “insists on not fathoming gas drilling crisis in Cyprus and its causes.”

Greek Cypriot leader last Tuesday suspended reunification talks, accusing Turkey of violating the EU member country’s sovereign rights and international law.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey sent troops after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Turkey doesn’t recognize Greek Cyprus as a state and opposes its offshore energy search.

Last week, Van Rompuy said it is essential that all parties respect the sovereignty of others and are willing to settle disputes peacefully in accordance with international law. Rompuy also noted that he expects Turkey to show restraint and act in accordance with international law.

Turkey blamed the EU for accepting Greek Cyprus inside the bloc before a settlement in the island and said Rompuy’s remarks show that it is hard for the EU to find a settlement for the Cypriot conflict. Ankara urged the EU to leave the deadlock it puts itself in and display a balanced and more realistic approach.

“Only through this [approach] the EU could help the eastern Mediterranean to become a region of prosperity and cooperation,” the statement conlcuded.


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