TRNC News Today 19th February 2014
FOREIGN MINISTER ÖZDIL NAMI MADE A SPEECH AT EUROPEAN UNION SOCIALIST GROUP MEETING IN BRUSSELS
Foreign Minister Özdil Nami has made the following speech at the European Union Socialist Group meeting in Brussels yesterday (18.2.2014)
Address to the S&D Group
It gives me great pleasure to be amongst you today. I will use this opportunity to give you a concise overview of the current state of negotiations to resolve the Cyprus issue which is entering its 50th year at the UN agenda this coming March.
Last time I addressed you I expressed my conviction that soon we will see the resumption of talks in Cyprus between the leaders of the two communities. I underlined that already during the 2008-2010 period negotiations yielded significant agreements and convergences and that once talks start they could be finalized in months and not years.
Today I have the great pleasure to be able to share with you that although it took longer than I had hoped we finally have the resumption of talks accompanied by a historic joint statement of the two leaders on the island.
I specifically underlined the historic nature of the joint statement issued for I believe this text paves the way for rapid progress at the negotiating table by addressing some of the critical issues related to governance and power sharing in a federal Cyprus.
Namely, with their joint statement of last week the two leaders agreed that their goal is to achieve a bi-zonal bi-communal federation with political equality between the two sides.
That this Federation will have a single sovereignty defined as sovereignty enjoyed by all UN member states under the UN Charter and which emanates equally from Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.
The Federation will have single international personality and single citizenship. All citizens of the Federation will also be the citizens of either the Turkish Cypriot constituent state or the Greek Cypriot constituent state.
The Federation will be composed of two constituent states of equal status. Neither side will claim authority or jurisdiction over the other.
Powers listed in the constitution will be exercised by the Federal Government; the rest i.e. residual powers will be exercised by the constituent states.
Principles upon which the European Union is founded as well as the bi-zonal bi-communal nature of the federation will be safeguarded.
The Leaders also agreed that they will concentrate on the remaining core issues indicating that already achieved convergences in previous rounds of talks will be respected unless there is a suggestion which improves on them in a mutually agreeable manner.
Today on both sides of the island there is a sense of increased optimism due to this long awaited progress. There is also a sense of confidence that this time we will be able to resolve the issue.
You may ask what has changed and made this positive development possible. And why should this development yield anything different than the past statements previously agreed by the Cypriot leaders!
There are indeed various factors which contributed to this positive development and I still hope that we may this time be successful in uniting Cyprus. There are various factors at play of course but some of the main ones in my view are:
Economic challenges faced on both sides of the island is making more and more people aware that there is a need for a radical change in economic factors if we are to achieve economic growth beyond the normal rates.
Discovery of natural resources is another recent development that forces Cypriots to settle their issue if we are to benefit from these riches in a cost effective, speedy and stable manner.
Politicians who said “Yes” to the UN Comprehensive Settlement plan of 2004 are in power on both sides of the island.
Renewed interest in enhancing Turkey-EU relations as well as the strong support given by Turkey for rapid progress in the talks.
We are entering into a critical period. During this time the European Union may also play an important role in helping the two sides. In particular there is a need to step up efforts to help prepare the future Turkish Cypriot constituent state for the full adoption and implementation of the aquis so that after unification we will be able to remove its suspended status in a speedy manner. This necessitates intensification of co-operation between us as well as furthering of technical and financial assistance for the Turkish Cypriot community. The new pro-EU Government has expatiated the EU harmonization process and adopted 70 different laws and regulations that will enable smooth unification of the island.
We also need to find a way to enable elected representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community to actively participate in the European Parliament in anticipation of a united Cyprus. We welcome the initiative taken by the S&D group regarding this issue but the fact that the EU parliament could not manage to create a formula to accommodate this need continues to be a disappointment for the Turkish Cypriots.
Let me conclude by expressing my thanks to President Swoboda for giving me this opportunity today to address you and also to thank the S&D group for its strong solidarity with my party The Republican Turkish Party throughout these years. President Martin Schultz, and President Hannes Swoboda as well as comrades like Mechtild Rothe and Jan Marinus Wiersma and Libor Roucek have done their outmost to keep the ties among us strong and for that we are grateful.
PRESIDENT EROĞLU: “GIVING VAROSHA IS NOT ON THE AGENDA”
President Derviş Eroğlu said that giving Varosha is not on the agenda. Eroğlu added that since the beginning, the Greek Cypriot side has discussed the issue of the ‘Closed city Varosha’ as Confidence Building Measures and they try to influence the whole world but negotiations can progress with only give and take.
Stating that they are at the beginning of the negotiations and they do not start to discuss mutual give and take; President Eroğlu said that they will see what the Greek Cypriots will bring to the negotiation table when the negotiation process speeds up. Eroğlu said: ‘The negotiation chapters are clear. These chapters will be discussed at the negotiation table’.
Moreover, stressing that continuation of the guarantee of Turkey is defended; Eroğlu said ‘We need this guarantee. Guarantee of Turkey is our sine qua non’.
As it is known the Cyprus negotiation process was interrupted by the Greek Cypriot Administration in 2013 due to the presidential elections and economic crisis in South Cyprus.
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN ERTUĞ: “MAVROYANNIS DISTORTS JOINT STATEMENT”
Presidential Spokesman Osman Ertuğ said in his interview to a newspaper, that the Greek Cypriot negotiator Mavroyannis made unilateral statements regarding the content of the joint statement, and distorted it.
Ertuğ added ‘It should not be forgotten that the joint statement is not a target itself but it is an instrument which will take us to a solution in Cyprus’.
In the written statement of the Presidency, Ertuğ expressed that full-fledged negotiations have been launched after one year and unilateral statements and comments can give harm to the negotiation process at a stage when it is expected to reach a settlement in the near future.
NEGOTIATOR OZERSAY “ESSENCE OF MATTERS SHOULD BE DISCUSSED FROM NOW ON”
The Turkish Cypriot side’s negotiator Kudret Özersay has indicated that delegations should come together and determine the procedure of negotiations and the essence of matters should be discussed from now on.
Evaluating the latest developments to the TAK agency, Turkish Cypriot negotiator Kudret Özersay said that the Turkish Cypriot side is ready to negotiate the essence of matters soon.
Telling that the Turkish Cypriot side will develop new proposals within the framework of the Greek side’s answer, Özersay added that they will try to create new convergences in the process and their main target is to increase the number of these convergences as much as possible and make the latest step.
Adding that the visits planned to Athens and Ankara will be historical visits, Özersay said that there was no precedent to these before.
Stressing that the planned visit would be fruitful in terms of starting a dialog with the guarantor country Greece, Özersay said that the same will be valid for the dialog to be started between Greece and Turkey.
SPEAKER OF ASSEMBLY SIBER: “WE AS TRNC WISH TO DEVELOP OUR CULTURAL RELATIONS WITH IRAN”
The Speaker of the Assembly Sibel Siber who has been in Iran within the context of Parliamentary Union Conference of the Organization of Islamic Co-operation made a speech during the opening of an exhibition and said ‘ We have many common cultural characteristics with Iran which go a long way back. We as the TRNC wish to develop our cultural relations with Iran and increase our mutual visits. So, we can make our country familiar to Iranians and Iran can be familiar to the Turkish Cypriots.
GAU COMPLAINS ABOUT GREEKS TO EC REPRESENTATION IN CYPRUS
Girne American University has sent a letter to the European Commission Representation in Cyprus asking for the removal of negative statements on the website of the Greek Cypriot Administration Foreign Ministry about the universities in the TRNC.
In the letter sent to the President of the European Commission Representation in Cyprus – Georgios Markopoulitis it has been recorded that the behaviour of the Greek Cypriot Administration is contrary to the attitude and stance of the EC towards the Turkish Cypriots and asked for removal of the mentioned statements from the website as soon as possible.
Source; TRNC Public Information Office