TRNC News Today 30th July 2015

UN Security Council renews mandate of UNFICYP

The UN Security Council (UNSC) renewed the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) until January 31, 2016.

Satisfaction due to the re-launching of negotiations and the positive momentum were expressed in the Resolution which has been Mandate for UNFICYPapproved unanimously by UNSC.

Stating that a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem has not yet been reached, the Resolution encourages the sides to intensify the substantive negotiations on the unresolved core issues interdependently, and stresses that the status quo is unsustainable.

Demanding to urge rapid agreement on facilitating the recommencement of demining operations at the Buffer Zone and clearance of the remaining minefields, the Council urged the implementation of confidence-building measures, such as the opening of other crossing points.

UNFICYP, which was established in 1964 by Security Force Resolution 186 to prevent further fighting between the two communities in Cyprus, is one of the longest running peacekeeping operations in the history of the UN.

Israeli PM Netanyahu visits South Cyprus

Nicos Anastasiades and Benjamin NetanyahuIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his first foreign visit to South Cyprus after being re-elected. During the visit, it is decided to take cooperation steps on five issues of security and defence. Greek Cypriot daily Fhileleftheros reported that the steps to be taken on the issues of energy, joint use of hydrocarbons, which is being dealt with at a technical level, defence and security were decided. Within this scope, the Greek Cypriot Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis will go to Israel in September, and the Greek Cypriot Defence Minister Christoforos Fokaidis will go to Israel in August.

Akıncı receives Perestrello

President Mustafa Akıncı received the Portuguese Ambassador to Nicosia Joao Perestrello.  No statements were made after the reception at the Presidency, however media members were allowed to take photos.

CTP-BG and DISY will hold mutual meetings

The Republican Turkish Party United Forces (CTP-BG) and the Democratic Rally Party (DISY), which is in power in South Cyprus, decided during their meeting yesterday that from now on the leaders of both parties will mutually attend the board meetings of both parties, so that they can express their opinions. DISY leader Averof Neofitu and his delegation visited CTP-BG’s headquarters yesterday. After the meeting, CTP-BG leader CTP-BG and DISYMehmet Ali Talat and DISY leader Averof Neofitu spoke to the press.  CTP-BG leader Talat said that they had a successful meeting and noted that they, as the two main parties, reaffirmed their commitment to a settlement. Stating that they also discussed some thorny issues, Talat said that they decided that from now on the leaders of both parties will mutually attend the board meetings of both parties, so that they can express their opinions. Responding to the press, Talat said the thorny issues included some delicate subjects such as guarantor powers, property, cross voting and rotating presidency. Talat also said that they were not trying to reach an agreement while discussing these issues, and both parties displayed great sensitivity. DISY leader Averof Neofitu said that they expressed one more time their support and determination to continue dialogue and to reunify the island. Noting that they will work co-operatively for turning problems into opportunities, as well as danger and fears into hope, Neofitu stated that they will strive to reunify Cyprus. Responding to a question on guarantor powers, Neofitu emphasized that their aim is not to take the place of the negotiations, but to support the leaders who are negotiating.

“Hellim File” was published in the EU Official Journal

“Hellim file”  was published in the Official Journal of the EU for the second time in the last 10 years and it was Hellimreported that this situation conduced to a new effort to be started for registering Hellim as a “Product with Protected Name of Origin.”  Greek Politis newspaper indicated that, the name of “Halloumi” will be termed as “Hellim” in Turkish and two names of Hellim can be used together or separately by Turkish Cypriots.  According to news of the Politis, Hellim can be produced in two varieties as “Fresh Hellim” or “Old Hellim”  and the weights of Hellim should be between 150 and 350 grams. Meanwhile, newspaper indicated that the European Commission approved a proposal for amendment to the Green Line Regulation, but did not give details about what the proposed amendments are. It was also indicated in the news of Politis that the European Commission’s “Bureau Veritas” was approved by the competent authorities as an authorized institution to carry out inspections of Hellim under the EU Regulations.

Özersay: “Criteria is important in ownership”

Former negotiator and lecturer at EMU- Department of Political Science and International Relations Prof. Dr. Kudret Özersay stated that the fact that the ownership issue is going to be solved based on criteria is a positive progress but what criteria will be used is more important.

Kudret OzersayÖzersay interpreted the statement which was made by the leaders after their last meeting. In his written statement Özersay indicated that the statement which was made about the ownership had some positive aspects but some points should be clarified.

Özersay said: “I hope, especially the parties understand the same thing from the statement which has some positive aspects. It is positive that the ownership resolution will be based on the specified criteria, but what will this criteria be, is more important. Without an agreement on the criteria, property regime will not emerge and it would be impossible to know what will happen in the future. In his statement Özersay noted that there are some questions to be answered to clarify whether the parties understand the same thing or not. He said: “The property issue has been transformed into a full mess in the Cyprus problem; perhaps it has become one of the most complicated topics, therefore, it is normal to take time for the parties to achieve progress in this regard. If the parties understand very different things from the same text, they should focus on resolving these disagreements rather than give progress messages to the public.”

Kanbay received by Siber and Kalyoncu

The newly appointed Turkish Ambassador to Lefkoşa, Derya Kanbay paid a courtesy visit to the Speaker of the Derya Kanbay and Sibel SiberTRNC Parliament Sibel Siber. Speaking during the visit, the Turkish Ambassador expressed his hope that he will accomplish good things during his term in the TRNC. “I am looking forward to working with you all”  Kanbay said.

The Speaker of the TRNC Parliament Sibel Siber, for her part, wished the Turkish Ambassador Kanbay success in his new post.  Siber too, repeated the hope that they will accomplish good things by working together in a spirit of cooperation. On the other hand, Kanbay also paid a courtesy visit to the Prime Minister Ömer Kalyoncu.  During the visit, Kanbay said he was pleased and happy to start working in the TRNC and added that he has good projects in both mind and heart. He also expressed that their aim is always to create a more prosperous, powerful and competitive Turkish Cypriot State and people. For his part Kalyoncu, said they always care about the contributions that Turkey made for them, and there was a need to these contributions, and he added that they know this will continue and they owe Turkey a debt of gratitude.

Briefing on ‘Committee of Turkish Cypriot Economy during and after a solution process’ hosted by TCCC

The meeting organized by the ‘Committee of Turkish Cypriot Economy during and after a solution process’ in order to follow the Fikri Torosefforts of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem closely, to provide any kind of support and the necessary cooperation to the other actors related with the solution process, to provide also its proposals and views as regards the formation of the Turkish Cypriot economy after the solution, began with the opening speech of the President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (TCCC), Fikri Toros  Toros said they would do their part in order to strengthen the economic activities of the Turkish Cypriots and increase the level of competitiveness after the solution. In his speech, the head of the ‘Committee of Turkish Cypriot Economy during and after a solution process’  Özalp Nailer  said that as a Chamber, they showed sensitivity to all sectors and added that they formed groups on a sectorial basis and started to make situation analysis.

Eide : “I feel very strongly that Turkey also wants to reach a solution”

Speaking on Wednesday evening at a panel discussion in Limassol, entitled “Planning Our European Future”, Eide said that there is a unique moment of opportunity and people have to grasp it together, pointing out “you cannot leave it just to politicians”. Now there is a moment of opportunity, a window of opportunity that has to be used not only to get to any deal but get to a good deal and this opportunity may be the best one we have, as Cyprus and as UN, UNSG Special Envoy for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said.

 “I strongly urge Cypriot leaders and all the Cypriots to make sure you think of the economic viability of the solution, because you are creating a Federal Cyprus that works economically, that creates Espen Barth Eideopportunities for further goals. It also my sense that today in this climate, where stars are aligned, is that Turkey also wants a solution. I know Turkey very well, I know all the top leaders in Turkey from my previous jobs and I feel very strongly that they also want to reach to a solution”.

Eide made special reference to the fact that the event was taking place in Limassol saying that this is the town where the two leaders in Cyprus had dinner last May. “I want to share with you that at that dinner, I immediately sensed during the first minutes that in front of me there were two leaders who were ready to change the future of Cyprus. In all the meetings we had, formal and social, I can say that this has been confirmed”, he pointed out.

The UNSG Special Envoy pointed out many times in his speech that there is a moment of historic opportunity adding that “the stars are aligned and between the leaders there is trust and there is a will on both sides to really address this issue”.  He expressed the hope that hopefully he will be able to contribute as someone who is here to help, adding that it is up to Cypriots to solve the Cyprus problem and that nobody else really can.  Eide also said that the two leaders, President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, need support from all the people, academics, and people from the business community, the Media and the civil society.

“There is a lot of work remaining. I think we will make it but I don’t know and I want to be very honest about that. Great things have been achieved but a lot of work remains before the two leaders will be able to come out and say we have a deal that we will present to the people”, Eide said.

He added that when that happens the people will be asked and every citizen has one vote. “At that time you cannot start asking what is actually a Federation, what do the Greek Cypriots or Turkish Cypriots do. You have to start thinking now. It is a democratic choice. It’s the people of Cyprus who have to make up their mind and that requires a solid democratic debate, which is why being together with you tonight is very important and there should be more meetings like this”, SG Special Adviser pointed out.

Addressing the panel  Eide said that people cannot leave the solution up to the politicians and that “they need to take this in their own hands”.  “You need to support the people that want to solve the problem, you also need to challenge them, you also have to expect things from them and engage with each other to think about what is this”.

In his speech Eide also said that Cypriots may be very close to writing a new Constitution and that we cannot write a Constitution for the past, because the past is over. “You can only write a Constitution for the future because that’s the only thing you can control.  Here is my challenge. If you write a Constitution in the 21st century – and there are not many of them – it must look like it comes from the 21st century. You cannot write a Constitution in 2015 or 2016 and it looks like it was written in 1960 or 1972 or even 2004. It must look like it is written now”.

UN Special Envoy also pointed out that it is difficult not to be optimistic when you come out of meetings where you see real progress. “There is also a long way to go though, it is not a done deal, it is not over, the leaders need encouragement, need to feel that they are on the right track and the leaders need also fresh inspiring ideas, precisely because it is going well. Now there is a moment of opportunity, a window of opportunity that has to be used not only to get to any deal but get to a good deal. This opportunity may be the best one we have, as Cyprus and as UN”, he said.

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