The government on Tuesday criticised Turkey for preparing the ground for an alternative settlement to the Cyprus problem after the Turkish Foreign Minister tweeted that all options were on the table for a permanent solution.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s tweet on Monday that he had met with UN envoy Jane Holl Lute caught Nicosia by surprise as no announcement had been made on the date of the meeting following a number of postponements by Ankara.
“Emphasised at our meeting with M. Jane Holl Lute, the official assigned by the #UN Secretary-General, that all options are on the table for a permanent solution in Cyprus; yet, in any case, political equality of the Turkish Cypriots is a must!” Cavusoglu’s tweet said on Monday.
But the reference to all options being on the table did not sit well with Nicosia.
A government source told the Cyprus News Agency that Cavusoglu makes sure to set the ground for a solution at every opportunity outside UN parameters by referring to other options despite that he does not rule out a federal solution.
“This is worrying, and it may mean that special understanding on the terms of reference should be made,” the source said.
Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said that now that Lute had concluded this round of contacts with the guarantor powers Nicosia is waiting for her visit to the island as had been agreed with President Nicos Anastasiades.
He reiterated that the government does not agree with Turkey’s demand that the talks begin after June.
“The negotiations could have started months ago,” Prodromou told the CNA.
The terms of reference for the resumption of the settlement talks, he said, should also include the six parameters of the UN Secretary General’s framework, including those relating to security and guarantees and the withdrawal of the occupation army.
Prodromou also said that the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgos Katrougalos, who is to meet with his Turkish counterpart to discuss the Cyprus issue on Wednesday, will inform Nicosia of what has been discussed.
The government, he said, is eyeing positively these consultations as long as they contribute positively to drafting the terms of reference based on the six parameters of the UN Secretary-General.
“It is up to the guarantors to accept what is provided for in the framework for replacing the guarantee status with a modern security system,” he said. Both Greece and the UK have agreed to this, he said, while all that remains is for Turkey’s consent, “which, unfortunately was absent during the conference (on Cyprus) in Crans Montana.”