EU should prepare Turkish Cypriots for membership
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
BRUSSELS - Foreign Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Ozdil Nami asked the European Union on Wednesday to prepare TRNC for the post-resolution period.
Speaking at the Centre for European Policy Studies, Nami said that the joint declaration envisages the presence of both Turkish and Greek Cypriot governments authorized in specific parts of the island, adding that if the EU wants to promote a resolution, it needs to act now.
Nami said that the current resolution process that started in Cyprus is different than the preceding ones due to a number of factors. He said that the resolution would be the lasting solution to the current economic crisis; the natural gas discovered in Mediterranean must be exported via Turkey to be profitable; and politicians who supported the Annan Plan are currently in power on both sides.
The recent momentum gained in Turkey’s EU membership process is also another factor, he said.
Nami also met with Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, representatives of political groups in the European Parliament, EU Commission officials, and ambassadors of some member states to discuss the resolution process in Cyprus.
The Annan Plan, named after the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations between 1997 and 2006, was a United Nations proposal to resolve the Cyprus dispute. The proposal suggested a restructure of the island as a "United Republic of Cyprus", which would be a federation of two states.
The proposal, which was revised five times before being put to Turkish and Greek Cypriots in a referendum in April 2004, was supported by 65% of Turkish Cypriots. Only 24% of Greek Cypriots supported the plan.
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