Greek Cypriot archbishop casts doubt on peace talks

Turkey has maintained a military presence in the island's north as a constitutional guarantor of peace after Greek extremist militant group EOKA, which sought to unite the island with Greece, conducted a coup on the government in July 1974 after having forced Turkish Cypriots to flee enclaves to escape from years of massacres.

Greek Cypriot archbishop casts doubt on peace talks

World Bulletin / News Desk

Greek Cypriot Archbishop Chrysostomos II has cast his doubts over the ongoing Cyprus peace talks, saying that they are bound to hit a dead end sooner or later.

The Greek Cypriot Fileleftheros newspaper reported the Archbishop's comments, after he spoke at the Georgian Panaya Chrisoyaliotissa monastery in Baf (Paphos) during the opening ceremony of an archeological site.

During his speech, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Cyprus said "The talks will break-off somewhere. The Turks want everything. We have nothing to give them because they have taken everything. They should be the ones giving."

"If they don't give, I don't believe we will reach a deal," he added, saying that whether or not an agreement will be achieved depends on Turkey's stance.

While Archbishop Chrysostomos continues to meet with Turkish Cypriot Muslim leaders Talip Atalay and Sakir Alemdar within the framework of the Cyprus peace talks, he has repeatedly cast doubts on the negotiations and pointed the finger of blame at the Turks.

GAS PIPELINE

The Cyprus peace talks were revived in February after a two-year pause, with both sides hoping that the discovery of gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean sea basin will help to revive the dire economic situation the the Greek Cypriot-controlled southern Cyprus by securing a pipeline through Turkey to supply Europe.

The talks originally broke off in 2012 when the Greek Cypriot administration took over the EU presidency, despite Turkey's protests. Turkey was also displeased that the Greek Cypriot administration was signing exploration deals with neighboring countries over the gas reserves while the island of Cyprus remained divided due to an unresolved dispute.

Turkey had argued that Greek Cypriot exploitation of gas reserves in the Levant basin while the Cyprus issue remained unresolved would deny Turkish Cypriots their rights to benefit from the reserves. Turkey therefore began its own exploration project in Turkish Cypriot waters off the coast of Karpaz (Karpassia).

The Greek Cypriot administration, however, was forced to sit at the negotiation table once again when they narrowly avoided defaulting from the Eurozone due to an economic crisis, in the hope that Turkey would allow them to channel a pipeline through Anatolia.

Turkey has maintained a military presence in the island's north as a constitutional guarantor of peace after Greek extremist militant group EOKA, which sought to unite the island with Greece, conducted a coup on the government in July 1974 after having forced Turkish Cypriots to flee enclaves to escape from years of massacres.

Failure to reunify the island led to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) declaring independence in 1983, which is today only recognized by Turkey.

A 2004 referendum saw Turkish Cypriots vote 'yes' to reunify the island, but plans failed when the vast majority of Greek Cypriots voted 'no'. Nonetheless, the Greek Cypriot administrated southern Cyprus was accepted into the EU while the TRNC remained under international embargoes.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Nisan 2014, 12:55
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