Statement by the TRNC Presidency
At their weekly evaluation and coordination meeting, held on 20 May 2022, a letter by the Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, addressed to President Ersin Tatar, was handed to Special Representative M. Ergün Olgun by the newly appointed Greek Cypriot negotiator, Menelaos Menelaou. A copy of this letter, dated 19 May 2022, was also presented to the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative Colin Stewart.
The routine meetings held between the Turkish Cypriot Special Representative and the Greek Cypriot Negotiator were initiated in March 2021 by the UN Secretary-General’s former Special Representative for Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar.
Mr. Olgun, having examined the main points of the letter, expressed that it was unacceptable that there was a reference to the title of ‘President of the Republic of Cyprus’ at the beginning of the letter, even though the letter did not have a letterhead and the signature did not state it as such.
Moreover, Mr Olgun underlined that the reference to the exhausted basis of negotiations, as if it were still valid, was unacceptable. Mr Olgun made it clear that this exhausted basis is not in conformity with the factual realities on the ground. The UN Secretary-General had underlined in Geneva on 29th April 2021 that no common ground exists to allow for the start of formal negotiations in relation to the settlement of the Cyprus problem. Mr Olgun added that new and formal negotiations can only start after the confirmation of the inherent sovereign equality and equal international status of the two Sides.
Mr Olgun, in addition to the above, stated that the so-called confidence building measures (CBM) proposals referred to in the letter had been brought to the table in the past and have become a component of the exhausted basis thereby constituting nothing but a mere attempt to create perceptions, while attemting to extend the authority and jurisdiction of the Greek Cypriot side to the whole island. As such, consistent with the previous statements, these so-called CBM proposals have been rejected.
The Turkish Cypriot Side is committed to taking up and discussing measures that would genuinely contribute to the building of confidence between the two Sides. Such measures need to be novel, realistic and mutually beneficial, and also should respect the inherent sovereign equality and equal international status of the two Sides.
Rather than pursuing this respectful approach, the Greek Cypriot Side is, on the one hand, continuing to act as if it is the “master of the land” by exploiting a usurped status to obstruct our access to international fora in every area, while on the other hand attempting to convince relevant circles that it is making efforts aimed at confidence building. This can simply be described as insincerity.
If the Greek Cypriot Side is genuinely committed to building confidence between the two Sides, it must first prove its sincerity by putting an end to its obstructionist policies against the Turkish Cypriot People, including our youth and children, in all areas.
As the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, we are working on proposals that are based on the inherent equality of the two Sides that will contribute to the economy and welfare of the two Peoples, the Island of Cyprus and the region, which we shall share with all relevant parties once they are finalised.