The leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Dervis Eroglu has approved the draft of a joint statement with the Greek Cypriot side to resume negotiations on a Cyprus settlement. This was reported by a local TV channel "Sigma".
Greek-Cypriot leadership expects an official notification of the decision Eroglu via the UN mission.
A day earlier, the president of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiadis said that the two sides have come close to reaching agreement on a joint statement, which laid down the basic principles of national reunification, and that it remained only for the Turkish Cypriot side. Announcement of the decision Eroglu means that negotiations can start as early as the beginning of next week.
On Friday Anastasiadis held in Athens consultation with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on the resumption of dialogue with the Turkish Cypriots. According to reports from the Greek capital Itar-Tass raspberries, Samaras called a Cyprus settlement, "the leading national topic of foreign policy of Greece." He stressed that he would "continue to support the efforts of the Government of Cyprus in the solution of the Cyprus problem," and promised that Athens "will contribute towards the realization of Cyprus sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone."
Negotiations on a Cyprus settlement were suspended about two years ago at the initiative of the leader of the Turkish Cypriots in connection with the entry of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU presidency on a rotating basis. Dialogue scheduled to resume in the fall 2013 years, but differences between the parties on key issues of the settlement prevented them from September to agree on a joint statement, which should trigger a new round of negotiations.
Cyprus is divided into an internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, inhabited mainly by Greek Cypriots, and the northern part of the island, controlled by Turkish Cypriots, seized in 1974 by Turkey as a result of an armed invasion provoked by a coup d'état of supporters of Cyprus' accession to Greece. In 1983, the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", which was not recognized by the world community, was proclaimed in the occupied territory constituting more than 37% of the island. Cyprus was admitted to the European Union in 2004, however, according to the protocol on accession, the operation of the EU legal system does not apply to areas not under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus. Attempts to achieve a Cyprus settlement have been undertaken under the aegis of the United Nations for several decades, but all of them have so far failed.