Cyprus: Unity hopes suffer another blow

21 July 2009 – Presseurop O Phileleftheros

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The Republic of Cyprus is commemorating the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Turkish invasion of the northern part of the island. At 5 am on July 20, the daily Phileleftheros reports, sirens wailed throughout the country, to remind the population of the day 40,000 Turkish soldiers seized 37% of Cypriot territory. Ankara was acting in retaliation for a Greek Cypriot coup. The daily observes that peace talks are stalled, despite the impending opening of a new border crossing between the two parts of the island in Limnitis. Optimists are betting a new unification plan, followed by a referendum in 2010, will finally do the trick. "Tiny steps on a tightrope," the daily headlined.

According to the Phileleftheros reporter, Nicosia is exploiting the anniversary to point the finger of blame at Turkey. The "key to resolving the Cypriot problem" would be for Turkey to put an immediate halt to its intentions to prospect for offshore Cypriot oil. President Dimitris Christofias has called on the United Nations and the European Union to intervene.

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