TRNC News Today 7th October 2015
Çolak Holds Contacts in Washington
Foreign Minister Emine Çolak visited Washington following her contacts in New York within the framework of 70th UN General Assembly,
During her first day of contacts in Washington, Minister Çolak met with White House and U.S. State Department officials, to whom she conveyed information regarding the latest developments of the Cyprus problem and negotiation process, and exchanged views on the matter.
Foreign Minister Çolak also met with US Senator Roger Wicker, as well as various media organisations based in Washington.
Furthermore, Minister Çolak attended a dinner hosted by Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Washington – H.E. Mr. Serdar Kılıç.
On her second day of contacts in Washington, Foreign Minister Çolak participated in a round-table discussion at the Centre for American Progress think-tank. Consultants from the U.S. Congress, representatives of prominent think-tanks in Washington, policymakers and media representatives also attended the meeting. During her speech at the meeting, Çolak conveyed information on the recent developments of the Cyprus issue and the ongoing negotiation process.
In her speech Minister Çolak stated that the negotiations are at a significant turning point and that a pro-solution government is present in the North, adding that with the election of President Akıncı, a new window of opportunity has emerged. Çolak also stated that within the context of the Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014, structured meetings are continuing in a very positive and constructive atmosphere in a result-oriented manner and stressed that the sides have substantially agreed on the issues of governance, legislative and the judiciary and have made progress on the issues of the European Union and economy.
Çolak pointed out the necessity to secure the bi-communal and bi-zonal structure of a comprehensive settlement within the European Union Law and commented on the property issue, which is one of the most important chapters currently being discussed at the table, by underlining the importance of formulas which would not jeopardize the socio-economic structures of both sides in the Island. Minister Çolak added that it is observed that the international community has started to work towards creating financial resources to fund a solution.
During her speech Minister Çolak also touched upon the issue of Confidence Building Measures which are undertaken in parallel with the negotiations, stating that the realization of these measures are of crucial importance and that the Turkish Cypriot side remains committed to reach a comprehensive settlement. Çolak underlined that a solution to be reached on the Island would also contribute to peace and stability in the region and would pave the way to creating an atmosphere of cooperation on the energy reserves in the region.
Hammond: “We are flexible on guarantees and ready to give financial support”
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond explained that the UK is completely flexible on guarantees and ready to give financial support for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
According to the news, Hammond said that at their meeting with the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide in New York last week it was confirmed that settlement of the Cyprus issue was possible at the present time. He also stated that the UK has a determination to help in any case in order to reach a settlement.
In his speech during the meeting on the issue of guarantees, Hammond said : “We are of course one of the guarantor powers of Cyprus’s constitution and we are completely flexible about our future role and relationship to Cyprus in that respect. If it helps, we will consider any option that parties come up with.”
He continued by saying “We know that the resolution of outstanding property issues is likely to require considerable financial input and we have undertaken to work with our partners in the EU, and with the United States, to ensure that the international community is able to mobilize to support a settlement with the necessary financial underpinning”.
UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Bielefeldt is in the island
United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, has come to the island in order to attend some meetings which bring together religious leaders, lawmakers and human rights defenders from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, aiming to “strengthen and promote cooperation in cross-boundary communication to prevent religious violence.”
The Special Rapporteur also cooperates with the initiative of the “Interfaith Dialogue on the Cyprus Peace Process” in order to improve inter-religious dialogue on the island.
Bielefeldt stated that cooperation of the leading religious leaders on the island contributes to the development of freedom of religion and belief on the whole island. Indicating that the violence committed in the name of religion can be prevented through cross-boundary communications, Bielefeldt said their aim is to reach out to different actors of the MENA region, and to facilitate an exchange of their experiences in inter-religious or inter-faith dialogues.
The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference about the result of the meeting at the Home for Cooperation in the buffer zone on Thursday, October 8.
CTP Foreign Affairs Committee: “Derinya crossing point should be opened”
The CTP Foreign Affairs Committee said that they would like to see the Derinya crossing point re-opened and are supporting the work being carried out in this aspect. The committee stated that it is inevitable to change the long-standing status quo and the current conditions created.
In the written statement made by the CTP Foreign Affairs Committee, it was attributed to the Confidence Building Measures on the document which was signed by the two leaders on 11 February 2014 and expressed that the removal of physical barriers would help to develop relations between the two sides.
In the statement, it was defended that eliminating these barriers would help the creation of common spaces, increase economic relations and ease travel between the two sides.
BESKI Board of Directors has been constituted
Board of Directors of the ‘TRNC Water and Canalization Enterprises’ (BESKİ) was established with the participation of 26 out of 28 municipalities in the TRNC. BESKİ aims for the management of water from Turkey as well as local water sources. Gönyeli Mayor Ahmet Benli was selected as the president of BESKİ.
At the press conference, Ahmet Benli pointed out the importance of water coming from Turkey and he also said that the framework agreement which was signed between the TRNC and Turkey is not contrary to BESKİ and this agreement was not against the distribution of water by BESKİ as well.
On the other hand, Ahmet Benli explained that no price increase is foreseen in the price of water.
Excavation work will soon start at Muratağa-Sandallar and Atlılar
The Committee on Missing Persons is going to start excavation work at Muratağa-Sandallar and Atlılar villages to determine the identities of 126 persons who were killed on 14 August 1974 and buried in mass graves.
Turkish Cypriot member of the Committee on Missing Persons, Gülden Plümer Küçük ,stated that separate graves will be provided for the persons whose identities have been determined by DNA tests. Küçük also stated that they contacted the families of the missing persons and the associations which represent missing persons’ families, and cooperated with them by expressing the process to be followed.
Furthermore, Küçük added that three weeks ago the Committee on Missing Persons had reached the remains of 4 persons at their excavation work and this showed the importance of scientific and professional work once more.
TDP-AKEL Joint Committee met
The works of the Joint Committee established between TDP and AKEL are continuing.
In the statement made after the meeting held at TDP Lefkoşa Working Office, it was expressed that during their meeting yesterday, the committee, which was established to help the leaders to find a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal solution based on the political equality, to organize bi-communal activities and also to inform the communities, continued to discuss the issue of criteria under the property chapter.
Anastasiades’ statements are contrary to the spirit of the negotiation process
Former negotiators involved in the Cyprus negotiations process Osman Ertuğ and Ergün Olgun indicated that some explanations of the Greek Cypriot Leader Nicos Anastasiades at the UN General Assembly and at some other platforms are incompatible with the Cyprus realities and contrary to the defined solution parameters, objectives and soul of the ongoing negotiation process.
The former negotiators asserted that the Turkish Cypriot officials remained silent against these declarations and claimed that this is not an understandable attitude.
Indicating that another contradictory approach followed by Anastasiades and the Greek Cypriot authorities at all international platforms, is to see Turkey as their interlocutor in case of a possible settlement, Ertuğ and Ergün said, “This is a clear disrespect to the Turkish Cypriots which are the main interlocutor of the Greek Cypriots and it also shows that they are in a target diversion effort in this regard.”
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