Real dialogue on the Cyprus issue must start, the President of the European Parliament Martin Shultz has said.
Schulz also expressed hope that a way can be found for a better constructive dialogue, noting that the Turkish side must adopt a clear and a constructive position.
Addressing Monday a conference organized by the EP on “Growth for South” in Athens, Schulz referred to the Cyprus issue, replying to questions. The EP President expressed his worry over the lack of dialogue, aiming at a Cyprus solution. “The lack of dialogue in the past 15 months is worrying me,” he said.
The negotiation process between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side came to a halt in July 2012 before the assumption of the EU Presidency by the Republic of Cyprus as the Turkish side refuses to recognize the Republic of Cyprus.
Schulz’s reference to the Cyprus problem came in relation to the energy sector. He pointed out in his speech that there is potential for growth to the benefit of Cyprus and its neighboring countries. “For Cyprus, Greece and Turkey is highly disputed,” he said and pointed out that “this solution can only be found in the relation between the EU and Turkey.”
Furthermore, the EP President said: “I have no concrete proposal, but this lack of dialogue in the past 15 months is worrying me. The economic crisis and the banking crisis put it (the Cyprus problem) in the second place”.
He also noted that “one condition is also a clear position and a constructive position of the Turkish side”.
Finally, he expressed hope we can find the way for a better constructive dialogue.
“Real dialogue must start,” he said.
Replying to another question on a more active involvement of the EU in the Cyprus issue, Shultz said he cannot speak on behalf of other EU institutions. “I not only as EP President but personally invested a lot effort in the Cyprus question,” he said. He added that he knows from Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades as well as from his predecessor former President Demetris Christofias that Cyprus wishes for bigger involvement by the EU and he is making efforts towards this direction.
Fresh efforts are currently underway to resume peace talks, with a view to reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
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