Accept divided Cyprus as reality: Straw

Former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has called on the international community to accept the division in Cyprus and insisted that Turkey deserves full membership of the European Union, Anatolia News Agency reports.

In an interview with the agency in London on Tuesday, Straw said that the division between the Greek-Cypriot Administration and the TRNC should be accepted as a “reality”.

He said that: “If it had been possible for there to be a happy, united island, well, that would be the best solution, with a bi-zonal, bi-communal constitution. But the majority of people living on the island in the Greek-Cypriot part don’t want to accept that.”

Straw explained: “I go back to the referendum that was held almost 10 years ago. I know quite a lot about what happened in the last set of negotiations and they have been frozen not because, in my view, of the fault of the Turkish Cypriots.”

“So my view is the international community should accept the reality that there is division and that you have partition. And then these two rather small nations would be able to develop their own relationship and I think it would be a cleaner system,” he added.

Straw was asked whether he thought it was contradictory that Britain on the one hand supports Turkey’s EU membership, while on the other it appears to want to leave the bloc. “It is very paradoxical. I want us to stay in the EU. All three main (U.K.) parties, the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour Party are fully committed to Turkey becoming a full member of the EU,” Straw also said.

Straw is scheduled to meet with Turkish officials next week during the Tatli Dil Forum, an annual meeting which was inaugurated between the UK and Turkish governments by their respective Prime Ministers in 2011.


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