Turkish Cypriots urge solution to Cyprus issue by year's-end, otherwise Plan B ready
An alternate plan has been drawn up in the event there is a failure in Cyprus reunification talks, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozugurgun said Wednesday, but declined to elaborate on the plan. "We're not revealing it due to our intention of reaching a settlement on the island," he explained. Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders have been holding UN-sponsored Cyprus talks since September 2008 to reunify the island. Leaders discussed the property issue at their meeting this week. The Turkish Cypriot side and top Turkish officials have repeatedly said talks cannot continue forever and must conclude with a settlement by the end this year. Ozugurgun said the Greek Cypriot side wants to link the property issue with territory and settlers from Turkey in order to jeopardize the talks. "The Greek Cypriots are trying to avoid a deal," he said. "They have never agreed to a state based on equal partnership with Turkish Cypriots. Their aim is to label the Turkish Cypriots a minority and claim the right to the whole island." Stating that the Cyprus problem can only be resolved by two alternatives, Ozugurgun explained: "Either two separate states are accepted, or a new partnership should be formed." At this point, he said, the international community should warn Greek Cypriots that the TRNC will be recognized if Cyprus reunification talks fail in the end. "Someone must give a deadline to the Greek Cypriot side. This is not a threat, but facts must be seen," he said. Separately, Turkish Cypriot President Dervis Eroglu and his wife on Wednesday hosted a dinner in honor of the leader of the Greek Cypriot administration, Dimitris Christofias, and his wife. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Eroglu said meeting socially with Christofias away from the negotiating table is crucial for friendship and reaching a fair solution. Eroglu said Christofias retuned the dinner invitation but that no date has been set. Christofias, for his part, told reporters that the dinner gathering had been warm and sincere. "The dinner will contribute to our social relations," Christofias said.