TRNC News Today 1st December 2014
Eide warns: “Anastasiades is the one who left negotiations”
In an interview he gave to the Greek Cypriot daily Fileleftheros, UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser to Cyprus – Espen Barth Eide stated that his job is not to bring the sides back to the negotiation table but to help the procedure and added: “I understand the reasons why Anastasiades left the negotiations. However he is the one who left.”
Eide pointed out that the hydrocarbon issue is not only an issue of the Sea Law and continued : “I will be the last Special Advisor for Cyprus. I hope this to be a reason for a solution.”
In an interview to RİK Television, Eide said that since the Greek Cypriot administration is internationally recognized it emphasizes that only the International Law should be respected however hydrocarbons are not an issue of Sea Law. Eide said: “Hydrocarbon issue is not only an issue of the Sea Law. Cyprus is divided and the Greek Cypriot side is unilaterally taking long term decisions. Hydrocarbons are a multidimensional issue and it should not be restricted to only the Sea Law. The Greek Cypriot side is taking unilateral decisions regarding the issue however the Turkish Cypriot side feels concerned about the future.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu: “Any restriction in which Turkey is not involved is not valid, and it would only increase tension in the region.”
Regarding the international petrol agreements made in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkish Foreign Minister – Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said “Any restriction in which Turkey is not involved is not valid, and it would only increase tension in the region. That’s why; we made a call to our neighbour and brother country Greece and the other countries involved to take this issue into consideration”.
Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu held a joint press conference with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece – Evangelos Venizelos who is in Ankara for an official visit.
Çavuşoğlu stressed that a solution of the 50 years old Cyprus problem will not only affect people living in the island but will have effects in the Eastern Mediterranean and will also affect Turkey-Greece relations . “It will be a very important step which will affect regional stability and security” he added.
Furthermore, Çavuşoğlu stated that: “Before the negotiations continued even under the most difficult conditions. Our hope is the resumption of negotiations at this time as well”.
Stressing that everyone accepts that Turkish Cypriot people have right on natural gas and petrol reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean, Çavuşoğlu said that as well as international organizations, Turkey, Greece and the Greek Cypriot side also do not deny this reality.
A prisoner of his own rhetoric
By Loucas Charalambous
We have found a new argument to justify our preference for partition. “We will not return to the talks if Turkey does not stop its intervention in our EEZ,” we hear on a daily basis.
And when this assertion is delivered in a triumphal tone, as in the cases of the foreign minister and the government spokesman, one wonders whether these people understand what they are doing.
Do they actually believe they are punishing Turkey by cementing partition?
“Our decision for returning to the negotiating table cannot be taken while the violation of the sovereign rights of the Cyprus Republic is continuing and for as long as Turkey does not practically recognize the sovereign rights of the Cyprus Republic,” government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides told journalists recently.
So we will not return to negotiations until Turkey “practically recognizes” the sovereign rights of the Cyprus Republic. This means that we have decided never to solve the Cyprus problem; we are abandoning the policy we had been following for close to 50 years.
I accept, in mitigation, that Christodoulides has little political experience, but if he wants to be actively involved in politics, he should have made sure, as spokesman of the government, he read up on a few basics on the nature of the Cyprus problem and how it came into being.
He would have learnt that it is more likely for the sun to rise in the west than for Turkey to “practically recognize” the sovereign rights of the Cyprus Republic. He would also have learnt that this was what the Cyprus problem was all about – that Turkey does not recognize our state.
If Turkey does as the spokesman has been demanding, then there would be no need for any talks, because in such a case there would be no problem.
There have been talks for 46 years now for this reason: so that a new agreement could be reached between the two communities (new after that of 1959) for a new common State, in which the Turkish Cypriots would participate.
Only then would Turkey recognize the Cyprus State as sovereign. I am referring to a State that would replace today’s which has been not common for half a century now, because we demolished it.
If the spokesman knew all this, he would have wondered how it would be possible to ask for recognition first and then to negotiate, when for so many years we were negotiating when Turkey neither recognized us nor respected our sovereign rights.
Everyone knows this, which is why it is so difficult to understand why we abandoned the talks.
In effect, President Anastasiades has become a prisoner of his rhetoric. And he has unintentionally achieved the very thing he said he would not accept – having the hydrocarbons on the negotiating table. By leaving the talks, he has brought them to the table.
Until recently, our side was able to repel every attempt by Dervis Eroglu to put the issue on the talks’ agenda, by referring him to the fact that it had been agreed since 1979 that the exploitation of natural resources would be under the authority of the central government after a settlement.
By quitting the talks over the EEZ violations, Anastasiades has allowed the Turks to argue the following: as there were no talks there could be no settlement, therefore the two sides need to discuss how they will share Cyprus’ natural gas.
The result of Anastasiades’ impetuous behaviour is that today all efforts to resume the talks, including those by the United Nations, suggest putting the natural gas on the negotiating table in exchange for the Turkish seismic ship leaving the Cypriot EEZ.
The president has nobody to blame but himself for the issue being tabled, and God knows if he will be able to have it removed now, either on his own or with the help of his spokesman.
Source: TRNC Public Information Office