Ersin Tatar issued a statement on Thursday saying that seeking involvement outside of the UN, towards resolution of the Cyprus problem, is pointless without Turkish Cypriot input.
Tatar’s comments came in response to a series of statements by President Nikos Christodoulides, following his speech at the EU Parliament on Tuesday in Strasbourg, and other visits and contacts.
Meanwhile, Christodoulides on Thursday held a telephone call with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, during which the latter reaffirmed his commitment to a settlement of the Cyprus problem within the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, according to government spokesman Constantinos Letymbiotis.
On Friday, speaking on CyBC’s morning programme, Letymbiotis said the president had informed the UNSG of the outcomes of his efforts to involve the EU more actively, and that the ball was in the court of the UNSG to “explore intentions” of the TC side.
Christodoulides’ recent flurry of activity towards procuring a European envoy and more active EU involvement towards resolution of the Cyprus issue, which included a visit to Austria and contacts with Chancellor Karl Nehammer, were judged to have yielded positive outcomes by the government.
Tatar, however, reacted by saying, “The EU leadership must understand that efforts to involve other players besides the UN in the Cyprus conflict are futile. No one can interfere in a possible process if the Turkish Cypriot side does not consent.”
Moreover, Tatar said, in his EU parliament speech, the president “almost revealed why the Cyprus issue [has] remained unresolved for 60 years.”
“While the GC leader continues an approach of ignoring the TC people and not treating them as equals, he also does not hide his desperation calling for the EU to put pressure on the Turkish motherland,” Tatar said.
Ever since the day he was elected, Christodoulides has been promoting his “so-called” plan for EU involvement in order to hide his “uncompromising and maximalist stance” Tatar claimed, adding that no unilateral effort will be accepted and the GC leader will return empty-handed, as was the case during previous contacts.
Commenting on Metsola having stated that “Europe will not be complete while Cyprus remains divided,” Tatar stated that the EPP seemed to forget the great contribution of the EU to the perpetuation of the status quo on the island.
Tatar restated his adherence to a two-state solution and said the path forward was clear.
“As soon as the GC leadership confirms the sovereign equality and the equal international status of the TCs, we will start negotiations,” he said, adding that hard realities needed to be faced at the negotiating table if a solution was to be found.
“If the EU wants to contribute it should encourage the Greek leader in this direction,” Tatar stated.
As concerns the situation with migration, the TC leader called Christodoulides’ claims that Turkey is weaponising migration flows “baseless.”
“If they want to negotiate on this issue and cooperate, the proposal we presented to them is on the table,” he said.
Responding to the Republic’s recent efforts and outreach to Israel and the EU towards energy security, Tatar said TCs would continue to pursue their equal rights claims to natural resources with the support of Turkey, and called for cooperation in this matter.
As regards the missing person’s committee and accusations of stalled excavations at the site of a TC mass grave, Tatar called on Christodoulides to respond to the TC proposal for cooperation that was sent via the UN Secretary General on July 1, 2022.
For is part, negotiator for the Greek Cypriot side, Menelaos Menelaou, told CyBC that elements of the Euro-Turkish agenda could be utilised to create positive conditions.
Menelaou noted that contacts with Turkey are being made by the UN, the EU, permanent members of the security council and European union states.
The next milestones, he said, are the EU summit, the Nato summit and the UN general assembly in September.