European Parliament President Josep Borrell, who was in Cyprus for an official visit on Wednesday, called for talks to resume between the two leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Borrell first visited Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos before traveling to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to hold meetings with TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat and called on both leaders to resume talks on the basis of the Annan plan in order to find a lasting solution over the Cyprus issue, something which Talat said the Turkish Cypriots are keen to achieve.
Speaking at a joint press conference held in the TRNC between Borell and Talat, Borell emphasized that the decision of the European Parliament to set up a contact group with Turkish Cypriots aimed at forming stronger relations between the European Union and the Turkish Cypriots.
Borrell said, "The European Parliament continued to advocate Annan Plan and we were disappointed when Greek Cypriot party rejected the plan," adding that, "we still think that they still thought that Annan Plan represented the best basis for the solution of Cyprus problem."
Talat hailed the decision of the European Parliament on establishment of a contact group to improve relations with the Turkish Cypriots, and added that, ''Creation of contact group is a requirement of democracy. It is a requirement for the Turkish Cypriots to make its voice heard in the European Parliament.''
Talat underlined that the TRNC was committed to the promises made for solution of Cyprus question and expressed readiness of the TRNC for resumption of talks on the basis of Annan Plan and for re-unification of the island. Talat also indicated that all hurdles ahead of Turkey's membership process will be removed after a resolution on Cyprus is found.