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Turkish side’s stand only isolating Turkish Cypriots, Anastasiades says

The Ledra Palace crossing. Photo: CNA

President Nicos Anastasiades on Tuesday called on the Turkish side to consider the cost on Turkish Cypriots of the isolation they are leading them to by insisting on a two-state solution, a framework which is not accepted by the international community.

Anastasiades also expressed bewilderment at the accusations by Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar that he insulted his ‘people’ by addressing them as his compatriots.

Speaking to members of the press on his way to sign the book of condolence for EDEK founder Dr Vassos Lyssarides who passed away last week, the president said he was surprised to hear Tatar’s statements on Monday regarding his Easter message.

Tatar said that Anastasiades referred to Turkish Cypriot as ‘his citizens’ and that was insulting to them since they were not the minority and citizens of the Greek Cypriot side, “but the citizens of the free and sovereign TRNC.”

“I would like to ask him: should 97,000 Turkish Cypriots, holders of the Cypriot ID card and the Cypriot passport and who enjoy all that Cypriot European citizens do, be ashamed?” Anastasiades asked. He added that the same question applies to Tatar’s associates, several of whom hold a Cypriot ID card and passport.

Anastasiades also pointed to Tatar’s contradictory statements.

“One of the arguments they developed during the Geneva summit was that they are co-founders of the Republic of Cyprus. On the other hand, he considered that I insulted the Turkish Cypriots because I called them my compatriots,” Anastasiades said.

The president said he did not wish to enter into confrontation “but patience has its limits”.

Anastasiades also said the government would launch a campaign to brief the international community about the positions tabled by the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey at the informal summit on the Cyprus problem that took place in Geneva last week.

He added that these positions were outside the parameters set by the UN resolutions and Security Council decision but also the UN secretary-general’s mandate and Good Offices mission.

“Our effort is through an international campaign, to have similar reactions from the UN, the EU and countries that can exert influence on Turkey, in relation to its positions on the Cyprus issue which are outside the parameters and resolutions of the UN,” the president said.

Asked on whether there was a possibility for change of the situation given the Turkish side’s position, the president said: “the question is whether they calculated the cost they will cause to our Turkish Cypriot compatriots with the isolation to which they lead them.”

He added that it is not possible for the Turkish side’s positions to be accepted by the international community, nor by the EU.

The Cyprus problem solution agreed by the two communities is that of a bizonal bicommunal federation which the Turkish side now rejects, arguing that negotiating within the framework for almost five decades has led nowhere.

Tatar last week, submitted in writing during the Geneva summit his proposals that call for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to take an initiative so that the Security Council adopts a resolution in which the equal international status and sovereign equality of the two sides is secured.

After the north is recognised as an independent state, he argued, it will negotiate with the Republic of Cyprus, the other state on the island, their future relationship, including property, borders and relations with the EU.


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