ATHENS, July 9 (Xinhua) — Greece’s Foreign Ministry has criticized Turkey over failure to reach an agreement to settle the Cyprus issue in the latest round of talks in Switzerland.
In a statement titled “Hard truths” and posted on Greek Foreign Ministry’s website on Saturday evening, the ministry says “Turkey’s conduct dashed any hopes anyone had that there would be a change in its stance. Just as Turkey abandoned the first Conference, it torpedoed the second.”
“We reiterate that Greece will continue to work relentlessly, with all means at its disposal, for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, in close cooperation with the Republic of Cyprus, the UN and the European Union. And it calls on all of the parties to the Conference to show responsibility, respect for international law, and self- restraint,” the statement concluded.
Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias earlier also blamed on Turkey for having “intervention rights,” after a series of UN-backed Cyprus reunification talks failed.
In response to the Greek minister’s blame, Turkish Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu said in a written statement that Turkey attended the Cyprus talks in Switzerland “with the goodwill and constructive attitude we had been displaying since the very beginning of the negotiation process, with the aim of reaching a just and sustainable comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus issue.”
He further said that “The uncompromising and non-constructive attitude that underlies Minister Kotzias’ remarks was displayed throughout the entire Conference by the Greek Cypriot and Greek sides.”
According to the spokesman, it will not be possible for the conference to reach a settlement in the absence of good faith and political will.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 and the Republic of Cyprus joined the EU as a divided country in 2004.
The UN is seeking a peace deal to unite Cyprus under a federal umbrella that could also define the future of Europe’s relations with Turkey.
On Friday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced that the UN-mediated diplomatic efforts of the past two weeks in the Swiss resort town of Crans-Montana for the island’s reunification ended inconclusive.