Cavusoglu: Turkey "biggest supporter" in Cyprus talks
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said that Turkey will be the “biggest supporter” in the process to solve the Cyprus problem, after he met with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in the occupied-areas on Thursday.
Cavusoglu said that during the 14 years that the AKP had been in power in Turkey, the country has always supported a permanent solution to the Cyprus problem. He said that they are satisfied with where negotiations currently stand.
He said that they are currently seeking a permanent and just solution that will be accepted by both sides in a specific timeframe. Cavusoglu added that they want a referendum to happen as soon as possible, because they do not want the “last chance” that has been created to be lost. Cavusoglu said, “As Turkey we will do what is required of us.”
On the confidence-building measures that had been created, Cavusoglu said that Turkey is giving every type of support. The Turkish Foreign Minister also thanked Akinci and his team for their honest stance, saying that the so-called “TRNC” took the first steps and that Turkey had provided the necessary support to continue rapprochement between the two communities.
Peace persisting on the island is because of us
Cavusoglu said that the reason that there is peace and calm on the island is due to the guarantees that Turkey provides.
He added that in the future the way that Turkey will be able to add to the process will be determined. “Now we are looking forward,” Cavusoglu said.
Cavusoglu said that firstly all the issues will need to be agreed on by both sides and that after that they would be able to put “those issues” into the discussion, where both sides will take part with the guarantor countries.
He added, “To put those issues on the agenda now, and guide issues in another direction is not right.”
Cavusoglu said that instead of Greece bringing this subject and putting it on the agenda, he would prefer that they contributed actively and constructively to the negotiation process. The Turkish Foreign Minister said he has discussed this dozens of time with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had also brought up the issue with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on his visit to Turkey. Cavusoglu said that if Greece puts in half the effort of Turkey the process would further speed up.
Asked what he meant by this being the last chance to solve the Cyprus problem, Cavusoglu said that negotiation in Cyprus has been going on since 1960. He said that unfortunately, the reason the Annan plan was not accepted was due to the Greek Cypriots.
“We believe that this is the last chance that cannot be missed. This is why negotiations are happening. Our hope is that this opportunity is taken into estimation. It’s not just us, the UN is also thinking that this is a last chance.”
Satisfied with the Greek Cypriot stance
Cavusoglu said that Turkey is satisfied with the stance of the Greek Cypriots, adding that the community has taken a more constructive stance from what they have been seeing. He said that he appreciated the stance of the Greek Cypriot leader and his friend, Nicos Anastasiades. Cavusoglu also welcomed the stance of AKEL secretary-general Andros Kyprianou, whom he said he would invite to Turkey.
Regarding the Cyprus problem Cavusoglu added that the rapprochement between the two communities is good, but that they need to have a result.
Akinci: Bizonal, Bicommunal, federation based on political equality
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said that they want a solution that is a bizonal, bicommunal federation based in political equality. He added that it will happen soon and that Ankara’s support is important.
He noted Cavusoglu’s visit comes after the intensified meetings in November and that the hope is that the negotiations would be over soon, so that that they could take an agreement that will be approved easily in a referendum.
Akinci said that the improvement between Turkey and Greece will add more to the Cyprus negotiations, taking note of Tsipras’ visit to Ankara. He added that they are waiting for Greece to provide the same support to the process that Turkey provides.