FM wants Turkish support on Cyprus

Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Saturday called on Turkey to help end the «status quo» on Cyprus, as events were held in Greece and on the island to mark the 34th anniversary of the Turkish invasion. «There must be an end to this unacceptable situation and a fair and viable solution must be found, respecting Security Council resolutions and European principles,» Bakoyannis said in a statement. «The efforts made in this direction by President [Dimitris] Christofias and the Cypriot leadership have the unflinching support of Greece,» she added. Bakoyannis called on Ankara «not to encourage acts of intransigence» and to back a new round of United Nations-sponsored negotiations. The foreign minister’s statement came as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the occupied northern part of Cyprus on Saturday. He expressed his hope that a solution to end the island’s division could be reached soon. «If the parties have the will to succeed in reaching a solution, I believe they could do so very quickly,» said Erdogan. «As a guarantor power, Turkey deeply believes in this.» The visit was denounced by Cyprus’s Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou, who said that Erdogan’s comment calling for a solution by two equal states was «unfortunate.» Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat are due to meet on July 25 for a final review of preparatory negotiations before the two sides launch direct talks. No specific date for the start of those talks has yet been set.