Greece to gain from Cyprus solution: Turkish Cypriot FM

- Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' foreign minister says Greece will benefit economically and politically from the solution of the Cyprus issue.

LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (AA) - Greece will benefit from the solution of the Cyprus issue economically and politically, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' foreign minister has said.

Speaking to The Anadolu Agency late Wednesday, Ozdil Nami said the new government in Greece "hopefully" would inspire the Greek-Cypriot administration to push for a solution in the disputed island.

"The world is talking about how Turkey contributed positively to the negotiations over the island," Nami said. "However, Greece always followed the issues distantly. I hope the new Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, will put forth the necessary will."

Left-wing Syriza party won the Greek parliamentary elections on Jan. 26 with just over 35 percent of the votes, making Tsipras the youngest premier in the history of the country.

Nami mentioned that Greece should do its part about the Cyprus island, however, he said the country was focused on domestic politics and appeared uninterested about issues of the island.

"In the end, it is Greece's problem whether they will do their part or not," the foreign minister said.

Evaluating the poll results, Nami said the Greek people were in search for radical changes, and hopefully the new government would meet their expectations.

Nami also mentioned the "economical effect" of the elections and said Tsipras was a "big question mark" for countries which provided credit to Greece.

"If only the new government makes travelling easy for Turkish citizens to the Greek islands, they will manage to bring huge cash inflow into the country," Nami said.

"Greece will benefit from the solution of the Cyprus issue politically and economically," Nami said. "Some courageous moves will definitely be useful to the peace initiatives in the island."

Tension increased again between Turkish and Greek Cypriots after a Bahamas-registered ship, SAIPEM 10000, began hydrocarbon exploration in an area which Greek Cypriots unilaterally declared "an exclusive economic zone."

The dispute goes back to 1960, when a Treaty of Guarantee was signed between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, along with the British government, over the island.

The treaty banned the island of Cyprus from participating in any political or economic union with any other state, as well as making other parties guarantee its independence, territorial integrity and security.

However, in 1963, only three years after the treaty was signed, the Turkish Cypriots were ousted by force from all organs of the new republic by their Greek-Cypriot partners, which violated the founding agreements and the Constitution.

The Greek Cypriots, thereafter, claimed to represent the Republic of Cyprus, which was considered illegal and not recognized by Turkey.

Between 1964 and 1974, the international community made several peacemaking efforts that all ended in failure.

In 1974, an attempt by Greece to annex the island through a coup was made, which was resisted by a Turkish peace mission in accordance with the 1960 treaty.

Consequently, the Turkish Cypriots set up their own republic in 1983, while continuing the search for reconciliation.

While the European Union recognizes the Greek-Cypriot administration in the island, Turkey recognizes the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus diplomatically.

The negotiations between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots resumed after a two-year pause in February 2013. The previous round of talks had collapsed because of the Eurozone debt crisis and the Greek Cypriot side's turn to occupy the EU presidency in 2012.

However, the Greek-Cypriot administration suspended the talks over the divided island on Oct. 7 after Turkey sent a ship to monitor an oil-and-gas exploration mission off the coast of Cyprus.

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