Reacting swiftly and negatively, Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos rejected out-of-hand a plan from his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu for a two-state solution on divided Cyprus if Greek Cypriots move alone to exploit oil and gas reserves off the island’s coast that could be lucrative.
“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 said that Greece would not accept joining talks with Turkey over any idea of partition on Cyprus, whose northern third has been unlawfully occupied since a Turkish invasion in 1974 “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, 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.”