Akıncı: “The International community and UN should warn the Greek Cypriot side”
“I believe that the Greek Cypriots can abandon their bad attitude towards the talks, but there is one condition for that; the international community and the UN must issue a warning to the Greek Cypriots over their stance” said President Mustafa Akıncı last week.
Speaking at an event, President Akıncı gave his evaluation of the developments on the Cyprus issue. Akıncı said that the Greek Cypriot side and media are engaging in games to portray the Turkish Cypriot leader and Turkey as guilty.
President Akıncı repeated that the preconditions offered by the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades to discuss the Security and Guarantees and Territory chapters before moving to other outstanding issues is out of the question. He added that this proposal entirely contradicts the Geneva Joint Declaration on 12 January and 11 February 2014.
Emphasizing that the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades is running out of time due to the Greek Cypriot presidential elections to be held in 2018, Akıncı said, “If winning the election becomes more important than finding a solution, we have nothing more to say at that point.”
President Akıncı emphasized that the Turkish Cypriot side is ready to go to Geneva, but that achieving a result can only be made possible by discussing all issues.
President Akıncı spoke to the leaders of the political parties represented at the TRNC Assembly, and informed them that the shuttle diplomacy run by UN Special Envoy Eide was unsuccessful as a result of the preconditions of the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades.
Foreign Minister Ertuğruloğlu briefs students of Carolina University
Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu briefed students from the History and Political Science Department of the US Coastal Carolina University on the Cyprus issue and the ongoing negotiation process.
Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mustafa Lakadamyalı and General Director Kemal Köprülü accompanied Minister Ertuğruloğlu during the briefing, which took place at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Briefing the students on the Cyprus issue and the ongoing negotiation process, Minister Ertuğruloğlu stated that a settlement in Cyprus can only be established on the basis of equality.
Stating that the Turkish Cypriot people are not a minority but equal partners on the island, Ertuğruloğlu emphasized that they would never be part of an agreement which recognises them as a minority.
Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot people were the equal partners of the island during the 1960 Republic of Cyprus, Ertuğruloğlu emphasized that they would never give up their rights and equal status on the island.
The Minister explained that the 1960 Republic of Cyprus collapsed because of the Greek Cypriots’ refusal to recognise the political equality of Turkish Cypriots. He said “after 50 years of insisting on the same things, it is my personal view that it is not possible to reach a settlement. If we get into a new partnership and if an agreement is signed, Turkish Cypriots should take their place as an equal partner”.
Ertuğruloğlu pointed out that Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces were not occupiers as claimed by the Greek Cypriot side, and were on the island to ensure the freedom, security and safety of the Turkish Cypriot people.“They are the guarantee of peace and security on this island” emphasized Ertuğruloğlu.
Thanking the students for listening to him, Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu gave an example of the international embargoes imposed by the Greek Cypriots towards the Turkish Cypriots.
He explained children who came from Serbia to Cyprus in order to participate in the 19th International 23rd of April Children’s Festival, were prevented from crossing to the TRNC and deported. Ertuğruloğlu continued as follows:
“Embargoes are imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people such as no international contacts are allowed. Time is being stolen from the negotiating table, and nobody wants to take responsibility for the termination of the process. But we continue to be held under embargoes.
We should not allow this situation anymore. We have many choices; partnership is not the only option. We are ready to establish partnerships, not as minorities, but as equal partners. If this does not occur, we have to make our way. We have to put forth other options.
The Greek Cypriots are happy with the present process and the status quo because state facilities were only used by them. The Turkish Cypriot people, who were kicked out from the partnership, are continuing to live under the embargoes.
We do not want to waste more time at the negotiation table.
The facts in Cyprus are well known by all international communities. A new page should be turned in Cyprus.
Failure in negotiations should be explained by the UN Good Offices Mission, and everyone should look ahead”.
Ertuğruloğlu also criticized the recognition of the Greek Cypriots as a unilateral member of the European Union, before responding to the students’ questions.
The Minister emphasised that the most important thing for the solution of the Cyprus problem is equality, and stated that the TRNC could open up to the world even in the absence of a settlement, perhaps even seeking international recognition with the support of Turkey.
Responding to a question on hydrocarbon exploration, Ertuğruloğlu stated that Turkey will continue to look out for the interests of the Turkish Cypriot people as it does in other areas, and that they would not allow the Greek Cypriots to take a unilateral step on this issue.
Foreign Minister Ertuğruloğlu indicated that the Turkish Cypriot people will never give up on the guarantee of Motherland Turkey, and emphasized that the Turkish Cypriot people are only assured a place in the world with the guarantee of Turkey.
Statement by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding Cyprus negotiations
Following the last meeting held between the two Leaders in Cyprus on 17 May 2017 within the framework of the ongoing comprehensive settlement negotiations, SASG Mr. Eide conducted shuttle diplomacy between the Leaders with the aim of reaching an agreement on reconvening the Conference on Cyprus. Within this framework Mr. Eide met each Leader twice in the previous days.
SASG Mr. Eide stated today that these meetings were unable to produce any results.
Turkey shares the views expressed on this issue by TRNC President Mr. Akıncı in his statements of 23 and 26 May 2017. Our view is that the preconditions put forth by Greek Cypriot Leader Mr. Anastasiades for reconvening the Conference on Cyprus are contrary to the principles in the Leaders’ Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014 that all issues “will be discussed interdependently” and that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”. They are likewise not in keeping with the Statement from the Conference on Cyprus dated 12 January 2017.
It will be recalled that one of the tasks from the Statement from the Conference on Cyprus was for a Working Group to convene in order to identify questions regarding the Security and Guarantees chapter as well as the instruments needed to address them. This tasking was fulfilled on 18-19 January in Mont Pèlerin. The second tasking which resulted from the Conference was for the continuation of negotiations on outstanding issues in the other chapters between the two sides on the Island.
Turkey expects the Conference on Cyprus to be able to reconvene without any preconditions, in keeping with the understanding in the Leaders’ Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014 and in accordance with the methodology which was foreseen but not implemented for the first Conference, namely with all chapters being addressed together, as also expressed by President Akıncı in his statements.
Eide: “No basis” for sustaining shuttle diplomacy
UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide has stated that the leaders were unable to find common ground despite active shuttle diplomacy between the two sides, which he had been engaged in since 17 May, as requested by the leaders.
In his written statement Eide stated, “As both leaders have publicly expressed their desire to reconvene the Conference on Cyprus and to finalise all outstanding issues in Geneva, our sole focus has been to agree the modalities by which this can be achieved. Unfortunately, despite serious efforts to overcome their differences regarding the modalities for meeting in Geneva, the leaders were unable to find common ground. Without a prospect for common ground, there is no basis for continuing this shuttle diplomacy.”
Former US Ambassador accuses Anastasiades over impasse in talks
Former US Ambassador to South Cyprus John Koenig has stated that the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades is responsible for the collapse of the negotiations.
Koenig shared a message from his Facebook account saying “There is plenty of blame to share around, but one person stands out as the cause of the impasse and collapse: This is Nikos Anastasiades. He never was the courageous, committed leader he claimed to be – not even in 2004 – but instead a self-absorbed small-time operator with grand ambitions and no spine.
“Anastasiades owns this failure but many others will pay the price. (Maybe I should write that book I threatened to write when I left Nicosia!) “
Source: TRNC Public Information Office –
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Pictures shown are courtesy of the TRNC Public Information Office Facebook page.