There are no grounds for the start of new Cyprus talks, Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar has said, according to online excerpts from a interview published in the print edition of Kathimerini on Sunday.
According to the preview, Tatar spoke about the talks, which he wants to be based on negotiations for a two-state solution, his relations with President Nicos Anastasiades, drilling for hydrocarbons, and the fenced-off town of Varosha in Famagusta, which the Turkish Cypriot side is opening up for resettlement.
In the interview, Tatar said that other alternative solution models should be on the table for negotiations. He repeated his well-know views that it would not be possible to reach a federal settlement, and that a solution should not be put off any longer.
“If we are to sit at the negotiating table we need to determine what we are going to negotiate, which areas we have convergences and which areas divergences exist. Any new process must be results-oriented and subject to a timetable to deadlines and should not be open-ended,” he was quoted as saying.
Tatar also said works on Varosha would continue.
“We have a roadmap. The decision has been made. Maras (Varosha) will be opened. It will happen once all the necessary preparations are done. This will not take too much time,” he said.
He also blamed Greece and France for the tensions in the region related to gas exploration, saying the Greek Cypriot side was pushing for their involvement in the issue.
“The presence of these countries, which should not be in this region, is having a negative effect on the Cyprus Issue,” he added.
Cyprus government spokesman Marios Pelekanos responded to the interview later Sunday saying Tatar’s comments confirmed what the Greek Cypriot side has been saying “as well as the fact that it is the Turkish Cypriot side that is responsible for the fact that the Secretary-General has yet to appoint a special envoy as per the luncheon agreement in New York”.
“He also confirmed that the attitude of the Turkish Cypriot side is an obstacle to the resumption of negotiations, stating, among other things, that if the UN Secretary-General proceeds with the appointment, the Turkish Cypriot side will refuse to go to the meeting,” Pelekanos added.
“He also made it clear that he did not want any Security Council involvement in the effort to resume dialogue”.
Pelekanos noted that as President Nicos Anastasiades has repeatedly said, there is no question of accepting the unacceptable demands of the Turkish Cypriot side for recognition of sovereign rights of an illegal regime.
Neither the Greek Cypriot side, nor the EU nor the international community was in a position to accept the unacceptable position of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side for a two-state solution, he added, and the Greek Cypriot side remains committed to the goal of a bi-zonal bi-communal federal solution as enshrined in UN Security Council resolutions and High Level Agreements, a solution that will be in line with EU principles and values and will respond to the concerns of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
“At the same time, we are exhausting all available tools in order to prevent the continuation of the illegal actions of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side, both in the sea area of the Republic of Cyprus and on its territory, and in particular in the enclosed area of Famagusta. Not only do we not stop but we are intensifying our efforts in all directions, until the conditions are created that will lead us to the resumption of the negotiations in the context defined by Security Council resolutions and the convergences achieved so far,” he concluded.