Ayrault: Cyprus reunification a message of hope
French Foreign Minister Jean – Marc Ayrault said on Friday that the reunification of Cyprus would give a message of optimism and hope and constitute a development of historic importance for the region.
Ayrault, who held talks in Paris with his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides also underlined Frances support for a Cyprus solution, based on European values and the EU acquis communautaire.
“Regarding the future of the Cyprus negotiations, we truly wish to have an outcome. It would be surely of a historic importance for the whole region, for all Europe, but also a message to the rest of the world that one country is able to solve a long lasting problem with peaceful means,” he said.
At the same time, Kasoulides said that any European Union agreements with Turkey must be backed by all the bloc’s members, adding that Turkey’s EU membership bid would require movement over the partition of his country.
“Opening talks on frozen chapters should be linked to Cypriot progress with TurkeyIf there is progress with Cyprus, then automatically some chapters open.”
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 following a Turkish invasion sparked by a short-lived coup in Nicosia.
Ankara still maintains thousands of troops in the breakaway northern part of the island.
Turkey’s accession talks with the EU have been restarted as part of an agreement with Ankara to control the flow of immigrants, but some chapters of the talks are blocked by Turkey’s refusal to recognize Cyprus – an EU member.
Kasoulides said he’s optimistic about the current talks to unify the island.
“The leaders of the two communities have never made so much progress in talks, and this is without any outside intervention,” he said.