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'Turkish-Cypriot State' is Plan B?

plan b cyprus problemIf there is no solution to the Cyprus problem, 'Plan B' would be opening the closed city of Famagusta, and changing the name of the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' (TRNC) to 'Turkish-Cypriot State', according to a statement from Turkish-Cypriot authorities.

'Plan B' would be put into effect on July 1st, when the government is set to take over the EU rotating presidency, according to the statement. The Turkish Cypriot authorities would 'demand recognition' as the 'Turkish Cypriot State', which in 2004 already received partial 'recognition' by the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC). Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu plans to use this basis to push for recognition for a separate state if there is no solution in 2012, according to the statement.

In earlier comments, Eroglu said that March 29th was the last meeting between himself and President Demetris Christofias until UN Secretary-general Ban ki Moon decides on whether to call a multi-lateral conference with Cyprus' guarantors Turkey, UK and Greece.

“So, we clearly expressed that we fulfilled the last of the Leaders meeting today. We will wait the decision of the UN Secretary General that will arouse (sic) in the light of the report of Downer. We will make an assessment considering that report” said Eroglu.

But the UN did not rule out more meetings between Christofias and Eroglu in the Cypriot-led reunification process, said Special Adviser Alexander Downer after the March 29th face-to-face meeting between the leaders.

The talks have gone to a new phase in which the leaders' representatives will undertake further meetings on the issue of property, he said. However, no further leaders' meetings have been scheduled for April, he said.

"It’s only March...we are always happy to host meetings. Although I am leaving the island on Saturday, Lisa Buttenheim and the rest of our team will still be here. They are, of course, always available to the Leaders. The timing of the Leaders meeting is ultimately a matter for them because as I have often said this is a Cypriot-owned and Cypriot-led process," said Downer.

During their last meeting, the leaders discussed the property issue - on which they have been unable to agree - and Downer's UN Security Council report which was made on March 30th.

Downer said he will be travelling to meeting UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon in the middle of April. Ban ki-Moon said in earlier statements that he may call a multi-lateral conference in April depending on how the talks go on the core issues.

"We will have a talk then about how the Secretary General sees the way ahead," said Downer.

In March, there was speculation that the leaders will stop meeting after Turkish press reports that the ghost town of Famagusta will be opened to its displaced Greek-Cypriot residents earlier this week. The reports on the city's opening were denied by Eroglu.

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