Turkish FM presses for Cyprus deal

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday called for a deal reunifying Cyprus before the island assumes the European Union?s presidency in the middle of next year.

Davutolgu?s comments came a few days after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pushed Cyprus leaders to reach a settlement by October.

?We hope to find a solution to the Cyprus problem by the end of the year, and hold a referendum in the early months of next year so that Cyprus can take on the presidency of the EU as a new state that represents the whole island,? Davutoglu said.

Responding later on Saturday, Cyprus government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou accused Davutoglu of resorting to ?publicity stunts? and ?talking in abstract terms about a settlement without making efforts to secure one.?