The Greek Cypriot side wants to impose a federal solution in Cyprus but when this form of solution was on the table, they rejected it, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during his visit to the north on Friday.
Following a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, Cavusoglu reiterated that the talks on the Cyprus problem will not resume from where they left off in Crans-Montana in 2017, which is what the Greek Cypriot side says it will go for.
“We want to start a new negotiation process that will bring real results,” he said.
Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership are now pushing for two sovereign states on the island instead of a federation, arguing that this will be a win-win situation for all. They argue that talks for a federal solution have led nowhere.
Cavusoglu said the Greek Cypriot side wants to impose a federation citing the UN Security Council resolutions.
“The decisions were there in both the Annan plan and Crans-Montana. There was no benefit,” he said. He was referring to the proposed solution frameworks during the UN plan in 2004 and the last round of talks in 2017 where a bizonal bicommunal federation (BBF) was on the table. The Turkish Cypriot side, he added, did everything in its power for a federal solution.
“Is there a reason for imposing outdated parameters that did not bring and will not bring any benefit?” he asked.
He added that “the Greek Cypriots-Greece duo” seemed to want a solution but at the end of the day they rejected the equality of the Turkish Cypriots. “They do not want to share power or prosperity. Has anything changed since Crans-Montana? No. Nothing has changed in the last four years,” he was reported as saying.
He added that they truly want a new negotiations process to start that will make sense, promote equality and be effective.
“That is why we believe that we must not waste any more time on a federal solution and that new ideas and new visions must be discussed. And that is why we put forth a framework, based on the realities on the island – just, permanent and sustainable – that will have mutual benefit for all parties. We set the vision, with this we will participate in the meetings in the process ahead of us,” he said.
Cavusoglu was in the north for contacts ahead of the informal five-party summit which is scheduled to take place in Geneva between April 27 and 29. The island’s two leaders and guarantors Greece, Turkey, and the UK, will discuss the way forward on the Cyprus problem under UN auspices. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is expected to assist the process.
Cavusoglu reiterated that in Geneva, the sides will consider whether there is common ground “and will certainly not continue from where things left off in Crans-Montana”.
Tatar said the Turkish Cypriots have the right to have “their own state” based on sovereign equality and reiterated that a federal solution has been discussed since 1968. He also said that the Greek Cypriot side was in no rush for a solution because its state is internationally recognised while the Republic of Cyprus which “they usurped”, he said, has entered the EU.
He said that the Turkish Cypriots declare internationally that they are “a separate people” because when Britain, of which Cyprus was a colony, departed, “gave the power to two sovereign people”.
“We were excluded from the Republic of Cyprus at gunpoint,” he added. “So far, no agreement has been reached where the Turkish Cypriots can support their own state to express their sovereign right.”
Tatar said that they discussed with Cavusoglu the final touches before the Geneva summit.