Turkey hopes for Cyprus referendum in early 2012

July 9, 2011 16:53

NICOSIA - 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, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Saturday during a visit to the Turkish Cypriot enclave in the north of the island.

"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 said in the divided Cypriot capital of Nicosia.

Cyprus was divided by a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. Its Greek Cypriots represent the island internationally and in the European Union, while Turkey is the only country to recognize the Turkish Cypriot state.

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