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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu recently said that his Greek counterpart declined his proposal to drink coffee together in Cyprus as a sign of both countries’ willingness to reunify the island, Today’s Zaman quoted. Çavuşoğlu said, the Greek Minister is fearing reactions from groups opposing talks with the Turkish Cypriots.

“I’m not ready for that,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu quoted Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias as saying as he addressed Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission last week.

According to the minutes of the meeting that Çavuşoğlu had with members of the commission, Çavuşoğlu proposed to his Greek counterpart that they jointly travel to southern Cyprus, which is controlled by the Greeks, then have lunch at the Green Line and go to the TRNC for coffee.

Commenting on his Greek counterpart’s rejection of his proposal, Çavuşoğlu said Kotzias, being a person of vision and one known to have universal values, may well have meant by his negative answer that it is the people in Greece and Greek Cyprus who are not ready for such a move. Çavuşoğlu also said there are groups within Greek Cyprus’ Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL) and even within the party of Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades, the Democratic Rally (DISY) party that are against reaching a deal with the Turkish side. Noting that groups very devoted to the church are also against a deal, the Turkish foreign minister added, “Now, work to be conducted to persuade those groups is also important.”Çavuşoğlu also said Turkey’s support for the ongoing talks to reunify the divided island is not aimed at demonstrating that a deal on the island would not be struck between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, but that Turkey genuinely seeks a solution in Cyprus.

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