‘Greek Cypriot admin intends to harm 5+1 Cyprus talks’

Alaturka Amerika ABD Haberleri

By Muhammet Ikbal Arslan

LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (AA) – The president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Wednesday criticized his Greek counterpart's statements on the Cyprus issue and Eastern Mediterranean.

Eyes have turned to an informal 5+1 meeting led by the UN on the Cyprus issue, which is expected to take place in the coming weeks with the participation of guarantor countries, said TRNC President Ersin Tatar in a written statement.

He stressed that the incitement and unacceptable demands by the Greek side have also intensified.

Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades’ statements that "the UN parameters should not change, the Turkish side's plans for the complete opening of the closed Maras should end, and Turkish activities in the Eastern Mediterranean should be terminated” are unacceptable, Tatar stressed.

The town of Maras was partially opened last October after decades as a “ghost town” in the wake of the 1974 Peace Operation.

Anastasiades, with these impositions and putting them as a condition, implies that the status quo in Cyprus would continue, which is unacceptable as well, Tatar said, noting that the Greek administration intends to torpedo the informal 5+1 meeting that is expected to be held.

Tatar said the UN parameters that have been on the agenda for years on Cyprus have not yielded results so far, and that an agreement cannot be reached with these parameters.

"Insisting on the current parameters is to play into a deadlock,” said Tatar, and added: “So, we will not bow to the conditions of the Greek side”.

He said the efforts will continue for the opening of Maras as already planned and being implemented by the Turkish side, while their work in the Eastern Mediterranean will also continue.

“The Greek Cypriot side will never be allowed to own the energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean alone and to violate the rights of the TRNC and Turkey underfoot."

Recalling the Greek Cypriot administration's Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides' statement that "There can be no solution outside the federation grounds", Tatar stressed that his views point to a solution model based on cooperation of two sovereign states living side by side with equal rights.

Tatar also said the 2017 Crans Montana talks collapsed due to the Greek side's intransigence, reminding UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' remarks following the talks that new views on the Cyprus issue could also come to the table.

"We've raised a solution model based on the cooperation of two equally sovereign states as a new view and a new way, and we will also bring it to the table at the informal 5+1 meeting, and there will be no backing down from this," stressed Tatar.

"It should be noted that the cooperation-based solution model of two equally sovereign states, supported by Turkey, the largest and most powerful country in the region, is the most realistic solution model that can benefit Cyprus and the region.”

The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece’s annexation of the island was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Ankara’s intervention as a guarantor power.

It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the UK. The TRNC was founded in 1983.

*Writing by Merve Berker in Ankara