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Cyprus Talks

Ozersay calls on Lute to say if any common ground exists in Cyprus

Kudret Ozersay

TURKISH Cypriot ‘Foreign Minister’ Kudret Ozersay called on UN envoy Jane Holl Lute to clearly say there was no common ground between the two sides, reports said on Thursday.

Addressing a conference at the Near East University in the north during which alternative solution models for Cyprus were discussed, Ozersay, according to Turkish Cypriot media, referring to Lute, said one does not have to be a scientist to see there was no common ground between the two sides within the framework of a federal partnership in Cyprus.

He called for courage and said the period of pretending should end now.

“Within this framework, Lute should make her assessment based on her observations the soonest and come out and say them without hiding behind her finger,” Ozersay reportedly said.

“We need UN officials who could say the truth while they are still on duty and not UN officials who find this courage after their retirement.”

He said that new ideas were needed adding that the Turkish Cypriot side is already in this process. These new ideas, he said, should be in harmony with the existing conditions on the island since ideas which ignored the conditions which exist on the ground were doomed to failure.

Ozersay reiterated that the Greek Cypriot side did not wish to share power and wealth with the Turkish Cypriots.

The two sides, he said, perceive differently the terms bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, political equality and the phrase ‘the status quo cannot continue’.

The Turkish Cypriot politician said that the best way was the peaceful coexistence of two separate identities and two separate peoples with their own institutions and states, whatever their name is.

President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will have on Sunday separate meetings with Lute. The UN official is expected to arrive on the island on Saturday.

Anastasiades has reportedly requested a joint meeting with Lute and Akinci if there is ever to be progress, but the latter said earlier in the week, he was not in favour of such a development unless his interlocutor changes his stance on political equality.

Anastasiades maintains that he cannot accept a positive Turkish Cypriot vote on all matters after a solution, but only on matters that affect their vital interests, which is a red line for Akinci who declares that political equality of Turkish Cypriots and effective participation in decision-making is essential.