Turkey hopes for Cyprus referendum in early 2012

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 09, 2011 8:58 AM
Turkey hopes for Cyprus referendum in early 2012

NICOSIA (Reuters) - Turkey hopes terms for the reunification of Cyprus can be agreed by the end of the year so that a referendum can take place in early 2012, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutogolu said on a visit to the Turkish Cypriot enclave in the north of the island Saturday.

"We hope to find a solution to the Cyprus problem by the end of the year, and hold a referendum in the early months of next year so that Cyprus can take on the presidency of the EU as a new state that represents the whole island," Davutoglu told a joint news conferences with the president of northern Cyprus, Dervish Eroglu.

Cyprus was split in a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a brief Greek inspired coup. Its Greek Cypriots represent the island internationally and in the European Union, and say Turkey cannot join the bloc until the division of the island is resolved.

(Reporting by Simon Bahceli; Writing by Simon Cameron-Moore)