Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay stated that his contacts held in the US had been fruitful in terms of UNFICYP’s mandate as well as conveying the views of the Turkish Cypriot side.
Özersay said: “We argued that the two sides could cooperate without waiting for a solution on the issue of hydrocarbons in our meetings and conferences. There is a serious lack of confidence in Cyprus. We expressed that instead of waiting for this lack of confidence to be resolved, we can cooperate on the issues of health and tourism. We said that this trust could turn into a partnership in the future. The Greek Cypriot side is reluctant to cooperate on the issue of natural gas. We will announce this to the international community since they should encourage the Greek Cypriot side to cooperate on the issue of natural gas. Otherwise, if the international community treats the Greek Cypriot side as a government and gives the right to operate natural gas without reaching a solution, why should they want a solution? If I were them, I wouldn’t either”.
Pointing out that everyone knows the Turkish Cypriots also have the right regarding natural gas, Özersay added that if there is no cooperation in this region without waiting for a solution, stability in the context of security will be damaged and there will be economic and compensation problems related to natural gas investment. Our meetings were very fruitful in this context as well.
Stating that the initiatives should be evaluated within the context of questioning the status quo, Özersay stressed that UNFICYP has become one of the symbols of the status quo.
Indicating that the UN’s current activities could be carried out without troops, Özersay said “UNFICYP observe, write a report and send it to the UN. The UN also write a report and send it, so it becomes a deterrent. This can be done easily without the UN troops”.
Özersay also reminded that the United States wants serious restraint in UN operations worldwide.
Emphasizing that the UN Security Council Resolution 186 which sees the Greek Cypriot side as the only government, served the status quo, Özersay said: “It is time to question the status quo radically, thus our contacts in the United States have been a positive step in this sense”.
“If the UNFICYP were introduced to ensure peace in the island, the Turkish Cypriots would not have been displaced from their homes, and lost their lives and properties from 1964 to 1974,” said Özersay.