The international community should support the partition of Cyprus in the event of a deadlock in reunification talks on the island, said former foreign secretary of the United Kingdom Jack Straw on Thursday, while noting that the upcoming EU presidency of Greek Cyprus might actually turn out to be a boost for the reconciliation process between the Turkish and Greek sides of the island.
There has not been much progress toward a solution for a reunification of Cyprus, although the negotiation process between the Greek and Turkish communities has been dragging on for years, Straw stressed in an interview with the Anatolia news agency on Thursday. “In the absence of any progress, the international community should support a partition of the island,” Straw said.
In response to Anatolia’s question on the upcoming EU rotating presidency of Greek Cyprus, Straw said he could see why Turkey was worried but expressed the belief that the presidency might be an opportunity for both sides. “It is the responsibility of every country which holds the presidency to represent the EU, not their narrow national perspective,” Straw said, and added, “It [whether the Greek Cypriot presidency will be an opportunity] depends on how Greek Cyprus will lead the rotating presidency.” Straw also expressed the belief that Greek Cypriot leaders know very well the responsibilities they will be entrusted with during their presidency.
Also commenting on the crisis between Turkey and Greek Cyprus over eastern Mediterranean hydrocarbon drilling activities, Straw warned that the current events are “the most dangerous series of events” in the Mediterranean at the moment and added his opinion that Greek Cyprus should not have the right to claim representation of the whole island or its seabed resources.
13 October 2011, Thursday / TODAY’S ZAMAN, ANKARA