March 23, 2023

TRNC President Ersin Tatar meets Nava and DiCarlo

“If a meeting is to take place between the Greek Cypriot leader Christodoulides and the UN Secretary-General Guterres, then I will also request to meet with Guterres”.

“It is unfair to Turkish Cypriots that Mr. Christodoulides is going to meet with the head of states of EU member states”.

“All these create inequality, and this inequality is the biggest obstacle to the solution of the Cyprus problem”.

President Ersin Tatar held separate meetings with Mario Nava, the Director General for Structural Reform Support at the European Commission, and Rosemary DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs.

Following the meetings, President Tatar held a press conference where he stated that he discussed many issues with Mario Nava that included the permission of TRNC authorities with regards to Koruçam and the EU financial assistance and the UN Development Programme which was used to construct the Cooperation Centre that is to be inaugurated on March 18, 2023.  President Tatar stated that he put forward his discomfort and disappointment that no official of the TRNC had been invited to take part in the opening ceremony.

Stating that the Supreme Coordination Board had recently made an assessment on this development, President Tatar added that the matter was also brought to the agenda of the Council of Ministers by the Prime Minister. President Tatar said that the Prime Minister, Ünal Üstel, had sent a letter to the EU condemning this situation which disregarded the TRNC.

“I clearly explained the sensitivities of the matter to Mr. Nava in our meeting today,” President Tatar said. “Mr. Nava has confirmed to us that the relevant mayor and an MP has been invited to the opening.”

President Tatar said: “It is not possible for us to ignore the existence of the TRNC and its laws and to surrender our authority to the initiative of others. The TRNC has its own official bodies of authority. We conveyed this reality and our discomfort of what has taken place to Mr. Nava. There are approvals and certain procedures that are followed, in accordance with our laws, for such inaugurations and openings.  We conveyed these issues and, I believe, they have shown understanding to this matter.”

Stating that the TRNC supports and attaches importance to cooperation in committees established on different issues such as irregular migration, health, economy, criminal matters and earthquakes, President Tatar emphasised that the authorities of the TRNC should be taken into consideration in these matters.

 Natural Resources Issue

Stating that they discussed with Mr. Nava the issue of natural resources around the island, President Tatar said: “It is accepted by the international community that the natural resources of the island of Cyprus belong both to Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. I conveyed the view to Mr. Nava, that if serious steps are going to be taken in the future, the issue of natural resources should be taken up in committees to be formed with the support of Türkiye and that TRNC authorities should be present in these committees.”

Meeting with DiCarlo

In reference to his meeting with Rosemary DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Peacebuilding,  President Tatar stated: “Ms. DiCarlo extended the regards of the UN Secretary-General and expressed her condolences with regards to the loss of life in the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye last month, which also resulted in the death of 49 TRNC citizens including the children of the volleyball teams of the Türk Maarif College of Gazimağusa, their coaches and parents.”

With regards to the Cyprus issue, President Tatar stated that “Ms. DiCarlo explained to us that she is conducting research as to whether it is possible to start a new negotiations process, following the election of a new Greek Cypriot leader”.

President Tatar said: “We explained to Ms. DiCarlo the past, realities and essence of the Cyprus issue, and the positive dialogue and technical committee work at the point we are in. However, we conveyed to her in detail that our new policy, which we first put forward at the 5+UN informal meeting held in Geneva in April 2021, is valid and that we can enter into formal negotiations with the acknowledgement of our sovereign equality and equal international status, which is our inherent right.”

We will never accept EU involvement in Cyprus issue

President Tatar stated that the EU has taken a biased position against Turkish Cypriots with regards to the Cyprus issue, adding: “The EU has taken a position that a settlement in Cyprus, for them, is about how to integrate Turkish Cypriots into the usurped ‘Republic of Cyprus’ within the EU. We will never accept this. We will never accept the EU becoming part of the Cyprus issue. We explained our position on this issue to Ms. DiCarlo.”

The President underlined the need for the UN to treat the two Sides in Cyprus with equality, adding: “If a meeting takes place between the UN Secretary-General Guterres and Mr. Christodoulides in the future, then I will also request a meeting with the Secretary-General.  It is great injustice and unfair that Mr. Christodoulides will meet the heads of state of other EU member states at our expense. This situation and lack of equal treatment is precisely what has caused inequality between the two Sides, and this political and economic equilibrium between the two Sides needs to be established. The current situation of ignoring the Turkish Cypriot People, who are one of the equal co-owners of this island with the same rights as the Greek Cypriot People, is unfair and both sides not being treated equally is the root cause and obstacle which prevents a solution from being reached in the Cyprus issue.”

Cyprus issue also has a regional dimension to it

Stating that the Cyprus issue “also has a regional dimension” to it, President Tatar said it is important to have the approval of Türkiye as one of the Guarantor powers, which he said is “important for the continuation of stability and peace in the eastern Mediterranean”. The President reiterated that the TRNC will “never accept the EU becoming involved in the Cyprus issue, which I have clearly conveyed to both Mr. Nava and Ms. DiCarlo today”.

When questioned by the press as to “why the UN is insisting on using collapsed plans, and how this is being conveyed to Turkish Cypriot officials”, President Tatar said that the UN General Secretariat is different and that they are trying to maintain equality between the two Sides, but that the main problem is the UN Security Council resolutions that refer to a bizonal, bicommunal federation.



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