Cyprus solution possible by the end of the year

By Simon Bahceli

CYPRIOTS should remain hopeful of a solution to the Cyprus problem in the near future, Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat told the Sunday Mail yesterday.

“My message is not to give up hope. Both leaders want a solution,” Talat said from his office in north Nicosia, adding: “We will revive these hopes in the course of negotiations when more convergence comes about and when this is somehow revealed”.

Talat also hinted at good news concerning the proposed opening of a new crossing in the west of the island at Limnitis when he declined to deny rumours that its opening was “imminent”.

“My target is for a solution by the end of the year, and a referendum at the beginning of 2010. The chance [of a solution by then] is quite high, he said”.

Talat bases his optimism on a convergence of factors, the most important of these being Turkey’s determination to see the decades-old Cyprus problem solved.

“For Turkey’s EU perspective to continue we have to solve the problem. The incentive for Turkey is in place,” he said.

 
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