The Turkish Foreign Minister has arrived in Athens for talks with his Greek counterpart. The main focus of the meeting was the divided island of Cyprus.
Hopes were high negotiations would resume over the future of the island last month but they stuttered over the wording of a joint statement due to be made by the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.
“Turkey and Greece have supported every process towards a peace agreement for Cyprus. We wish for peace in the broader area of the Middle East which is affected by peace in Cyprus,” said Ahmet Davutoglu Turkish Foreign Minister.
“It is crucial that any proposed solution must be ratified by the Cypriot people in a referendum. This is the final and essential criterion,” stressed Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos.
But the Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said a resumption of talks to reunify the island were far off. The Greek and Turkish ministers agreed to meet again in Athens in nine months time.
Euronews correspondent in Athens Stamatis Giannsis said:
“In spite of the spirit of goodwill that was evident in the meetings between the Turkish and Greek foreign minister and the Greek political leadership, the outcome of their talks demonstrated once more that bridging the gap on the open issues between the two neighbouring countries is still subject to a long and arduous process of political negotiation.”