EU's Barroso: "There is a historic change to solve the Cyprus issue"
European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso, recently reelected to the post for another five years, yesterday held joint talks in Lefkosa with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot administration leader Demetris Christofias. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Barroso urged the two sides to seize what he called a historic chance to reunite the divided island. "The time is now," he said. "Do not allow a situation where the younger generation will simply accept the status quo. There is a historic chance now to end this conflict once and for all." Barroso said the EU Commission was ready to help and support a deal on Cyprus, but added, "We can't make the deal. It is up to the Cypriots themselves to find a solution." In related news, commenting on the ongoing negotiations between Turkish and Greek Cypriots towards a lasting and fair solution to the issue, Talat said that the two sides had seen each other's proposals and prepared a joint document. Touching on his meeting with Barroso, Talat said that Barroso urged the sides on Cyprus to find a solution immediately. "This is also what we're saying. We're doing everything possible to find a solution to the issue," he said. The international community and especially the European Union are responsible for the lack of Greek Cypriot enthusiasm to find a solution, Talat said. Despite its promises, the EU has failed to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, he added. In other news, the two sides agreed to open the Yesilirmak gate as part of the comprehensive negotiations.