As August 9 was announced on Monday as the date for a meeting between the two leaders, Nicosia accused Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu of lying when he said President Nicos Anastasiades had discussed a two-state solution with him two years ago in Crans-Montana where talks ultimately failed.
“It is with regret that the president heard the statements made by the Turkish foreign minister and all that he falsely ascribed as having been said,” a written statement from government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said, also questioning the timing of the comment.
Earlier Monday in an interview with Turkish channel TGRT, Cavusoglu repeated what he had said before that Anastasiades had told him in Crans-Montana that the best solution was the two-state deal because the Greek Cypriots were not willing to share anything with the Turkish Cypriots “but since he was not able to muster international support for such a solution, he later said that a confederation would do”.
But Prodromou said this was not true. He said Cavusoglu, in interviews, he has given and answering questions he has been asked, has never said anything like that. Prodromou cited Cavusoglu’s “clearly opposing statements” in an interview the Turkish minister had with Politis in November 2018 where he said that Anastasiades had been very clear on his position and had even publicly spoken of his proposal for a more decentralised bicommunal federation.
“In this entire period after the deadlock at Crans-Montana, it is he [Cavusoglu] and several other Turkish officials who are repeatedly claiming and publicly promoting the idea that the UN framework for a solution has not yielded any results and should be abandoned,” the government spokesman said.
“In this interview on November 24, 2018, he [Cavusoglu] said: ‘The federal solution failed. As Turkey, we do not exclude this solution. It could be a federation. But my personal view is that we have to look at other options together because of the experiences we have had over the years’.”
Prodromou added: “There he referred indiscriminately to a federation, but also to a confederation and a two-state solution.”
The spokesman said that in order to overcome the impasses that arose during negotiations, Anastasiades had proposed a series of alternative options so that a viable and functioning solution could be found, “but always within the framework of the relevant UN decisions, that is, in the framework of a bi-zonal bicommunal federation”.
“The question also arises over the specific moment in time chosen by Mr Cavusoglu to make these claims, as it is a time when efforts are being made for a conference between all interested parties in order to assess the prospects for a resumption of talks,” he said, adding that the Turkish side was not hiding its opposition to the resumption of negotiations from where they had left off in Crans Montana
“In any case, the political will, aspirations, and positions of each side will need to be judged on the negotiating table where we expect Turkey to participate,” said Prodromou.