Athens rejects Turkish talk of Cypriot partition

Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos on Thursday vehemently rejected a proposal by his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu that a two-state solution to the Cyprus problem be sought if Cypriot authorities unilaterally proceed with the exploitation of oil and gas reserves off the island’s coast.

“Any insinuation of partition should be out of anyone’s mind,” Avramopoulos said in a letter to Davutoglu which was published on the Greek Foreign Ministry’s website.

Avramopoulos rejected a proposal by his Turkish counterpart that Athens and Ankara join talks with authorities in Nicosia and in the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus on a settlement for the divided island. “I do not agree with your proposal for a quadripartite conference, chiefly because such a proposal contravenes the fundamental and inalienable principle of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus,” Avramopoulos said. “The Greek and Turkish Cypriots no longer need protectors,” he added.

In an interview published in the daily Haberturk and the Hurriyet Daily News on Thursday, Davutoglu said Ankara wants “negotiations to start between both sides on the island and between Turkey and Greece.” If Nicosia insists on claiming any reserves as its own, “this means tacitly that Turkish Cypriots own the resources in the north,” Davutoglu said. “If they behave according to this claim, we are ready to negotiate a two-state solution.”

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