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Cavusoglu: Greek Cypriots cannot grasp the notion of a common future

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots will shortly define a roadmap for the way forward in Cyprus, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted as saying on Friday.

In an interview with the Dogan news agency, Cavusoglu said a solution would be found that would  “guarantee the welfare and security of the Turkish Cypriots”.

“The Greek Cypriots cannot grasp the notion of a common future with the Turkish Cypriots,” he said, adding that for 50 years negotiations had been going on with the aim of forming a new cooperative federation without results.

“The processes between 2008 and 2017 ended without effect in July 2017,” Cavusoglu said referring to the collapse of the last round of talks in Crans-Montana last July.

He said the Greek Cypriot side was not approaching the process in a cooperative manner “on the basis of political unity and the sharing of power.”

“As long as the attitude of the Greek Cypriot side does not change, any process that aims at establishing a new cooperation on the island is doomed to fail,” he added.

Cavusoglu said he did not expect the Greek Cypriot mentality to change suddenly. “This is not realistic,” he said.

The Turkish minister said Ankara believes in finding a just and lasting solution based on dialogue and diplomacy.

“The reality that the two sides are politically equal will not change, and only within this reality can there be a viable solution,” he said.

“The solution that will be found will, in any case, include regulations that will guarantee the prosperity and security of the Turkish Cypriots.”

Cavusoglu said that in the near future Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots would define the roadmap that they would follow.

“We will continue in our determination to find this solution that we sincerely support by continuing to contribute constructively both in terms of strengthening stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and by looking at the possibility of safeguarding the multilateral interests of the parties concerned,” said Cavusoglu.

Asked what Turkey’s priorities were in Cyprus, he said: “It is the continuation of peace and stability on the island, ensuring the peace of the two peoples, especially the Turkish Cypriots.”

In its 2018 report on Turkey earlier this month, the European Commission urged Ankara to commit itself unequivocally to good neighbourly relations and the peaceful settlement of disputes. It called on Turkey to avoid any kind of threat or action against a member state, or actions that damage good neighbourly relations and the peaceful settlement of disputes.

The report followed recent violations of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone by Turkish navy vessels that intercepted ENI’s Saipem 12000 drillship last February while it was en route to a site in offshore block 3 where it was scheduled to drill an exploratory gas well.

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