TRNC News Today 6th November 2015
“The Hellim issue should be resolved within the framework of Confidence Building Measures”
Foreign Minister Emine Çolak stated that if the issue of the production and monitoring of Hellim is resolved with the understanding within the framework of confidence building measures and concluded in a way which has an economic benefit on both sides, this will reflect positively on the negotiation process. Çolak stated: “any approach, behaviour or strategy contrary to this could have a negative impact on the negotiations which are currently progressing positively.”
Çolak, who spoke at the “The economic importance of Hellim PDO registration” panel organized by the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry, mentioned that a quarter of the TRNC’s export depends on hellim and that the hellim industry provides job opportunities to 17% of the population.
Çolak expressed that hellim holds significance both for the economy and for drawing attention to the Turkish Cypriot presence on the Island.
Stating that hellim has an important global reputation, Çolak expressed “this product plays a large role in the search for a solution and peace”.
Çolak pointed to the suspension of the EU acquis in the TRNC as opposed to the recognition of Southern Cyprus, stating that the TRNC is fighting for the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) registration of hellim on a different level.
Çolak recalled that the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus applied to the EU for the PDO of hellim and spoke as follows regarding the process: “The Greek Cypriot administration requested that the production and monitoring of hellim be defined under the term ‘areas under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus’.
At this point, we informed the Commission that it was not possible for the monitoring in the North to be conducted by the Greek Cypriot Ministry. Our position was deemed noteworthy and alternatives began to be sought.
In this connection, a mutual agreement document regarding the production and registration of hellim as an ‘exceptional situation’ was developed following the meeting on 16 July 2015 between the two Leaders and President of the European Commission Juncker.
Çolak stated “Hellim has vital importance for our future and the future of our Island and has become a topic of discussion at the negotiation table which will lead us to a final solution”.
Minister Çolak recalled the following regarding the content of the agreement:
“As a result of the agreement it was accepted that an independent institution would be approved and assigned by the commission for the monitoring in the North. In this framework, the Commission prepared a draft amendment to the Green Line Regulation and it was foreseen that the registration of hellim and the amendment to the Green Line Regulation would be taken up simultaneously. After this phase, the Greek Cypriot administration claimed that the negotiations conducted with the European commission on this agreement document was having a negative effect on its sovereignty rights and made various different requests”.
“We were quite happy with the said agreement and viewed it as progress”, stated Çolak, further adding:
“After having reached an agreement, we were disappointed by the amendment requests of the Greek Cypriot side who viewed the agreement as a threat to their sovereignty claims. The Commission has taken into account the objections of the Greek Cypriot side and prepared another document. It then preferred to transfer the issue to the Council so that it could not be disputed any further and a conclusion could be reached”.
On this small Island, this important product holds a place much greater than the total population of the two sides which does not exceed 1 million, and also has significance on the search for a settlement and peace. The understanding of mutual benefit and sharing between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides on the issue of Hellim is an important aspect of economic growth. At the same time, it is a significant component of the ongoing negotiations and the environment which will lead us to a final settlement. When you look at a pack of hellim, we are talking about something which has much greater weight.
Therefore, any decision to be taken at this stage by the Commission with the request of the Greek Cypriot side pertaining to the PDO registration of hellim will not contribute to the positive atmosphere which currently exists in the negotiations. Since the Greek Cypriot side is not nearing cooperation with the Turkish Cypriot side regarding the production and monitoring of hellim, the EU Commission should consider the Green Line Regulation implementations throughout this process. The best approach would be to establish a control mechanism which will include the relevant Chambers in Northern Cyprus, our Ministry of Agriculture, and the EU, which monitors the financial assistance to the North”.
Çolak stated “it is our expectation that the EU Commission adopts an approach which realizes the equal rights of the Turkish Cypriots as the Greek Cypriots at this point in the negotiation process. I also believe that all of the relevant parties in Northern Cyprus who have rightful objections should be able to defend their positions on all levels.”
Leaders met yesterday
President Mustafa Akıncı and the Leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration Nikos Anastasiades came together yesterday with the aim of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem within the framework of the Cyprus negotiations.
The Leaders were accompanied by Turkish Cypriot Negotiator Özdil Nami and Greek Cypriot Negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, as well as the members of the negotiating delegation.
The meeting started under the auspices of Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide in the buffer zone and no statements were made to the press after the meeting.
Ban welcomes historical permission
Statement dated 5 November 2015 attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Cyprus is as follows:
“The Secretary-General welcomes the confirmation by the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Mr. Mustafa Akıncı that the Republic of Turkey has formally agreed to provide the Committee on Missing Persons excavation teams’ access to 30 suspected burial sites in military areas in the north of Cyprus.
The Secretary-General is encouraged by the steps being taken to build trust and confidence between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities as the two sides have begun intensified talks this month.
The United Nations remains committed to supporting the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders in the talks aimed at achieving a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.”
Eroğlu: “People should be informed about the realities”
The 3rd President, Derviş Eroğlu, stated that during the negotiation process, it is necessary to inform the Turkish Cypriots about the realities, and that the TRNC State should be protected until reaching a solution in Cyprus. Eroğlu stressed that the guarantee and alliance agreements should continue for the future of the Turkish Cypriot people.
In his statement to Radio Güven, Eroğlu expressed that during his presidency, the issue of property was discussed for 6-7 months at the negotiations and he refused the view of the Greek Cypriot side as “The priority is first owner” because it means that Turkish Cypriots will have no right on their properties.
Furthermore, adding that an agreement text should be issued, Eroğlu said that the issue of property disturbs the Turkish Cypriot people. “If still, today, the issue of return is discussed at the negotiation table and the first right will belong to the first owner, of course Turkish Cypriots will be disturbed” Eroğlu added.
Stressing that the property issue should be discussed globally not one by one, Eroğlu said that if the Property Compensation Commission starts to discuss the issues separately, it will continue at least for 50-60 years. Eroğlu also pointed out that the Greek Cypriot Administration is following different policies in and out of the country.
Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot politicians visited the Laboratory of Anthropology
The representatives of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot political parties, who participate in the meetings each month, visited the Anthropology laboratory under the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) where the analysis of bone remains is carried out, in buffer zone Nicosia yesterday.
The representatives were briefed on the complex process of locating, exhuming and identifying missing persons who were listed as missing during the events in 1963-1964 and 1974. The CMP Members also briefed them on the progress made and on the main challenges that the CMP is facing.
Hristodulidis: “We asked for experts from IMF for the cost accounts of the solution”
It was announced that the Greek Cypriot Administration asked for experts through the Ministry of Finance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other organizations to calculate the cost accounts of the solution. The Greek Cypriot daily newspaper Haravgi wrote that the Greek Cypriot Administration spokesperson Nikos Hristodulidis made this statement to radio ASTRA. According to the news, Hristodulidis said: “We will attempt to collect economic contributions to cover the cost of the solution from the neighbouring countries, the EU, the UN and even from Turkey”.
The issue of financing the solution was put on the negotiation table prior to the UN General Assembly meeting. Hristodulidis also added that, “If the Cyprus issue is not solved a negative situation will occur for everyone”.
Greek Cypriot side will start military cooperation with Egypt
It is stated that Egypt is ready to implement the Memorandum of Mutual Understanding which was signed with the Greek Cypriot side for co-operation in military and defence fields.
According to the Greek Cypriot press Egyptian Minister of Defence Sedky Sobhy met separately with the leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration Nikos Anastasiades and the Speaker of the Assembly Yannakis Omiru.
Egyptian Minister, Sobhy gave information about the reforms and the Armed Forces in his country at the meeting with the Speaker of the Assembly Yannakis Omiru.
It is also stated that South Cyprus held a joint exercise with Israel. The exercise took place in the framework of the annual cooperation program between the armed forces of the two countries.
It was conducted in the Nicosia FIR, in the wider Paphos – Troodos region, with the participation of land and air forces.
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Pictures shown are courtesy of the TRNC Public Information Office Facebook page.