Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar told the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday that EU interference in the Cyprus problem “cannot be accepted” and negotiations can only start after a change in the stance of the Greek Cypriot side.
In a 20-minute telephone conversation Tatar and Guterres exchanged views on the Cyprus problem and the latest developments.
According to a statement from the “presidency”, Tatar told the UN Secretary General that the negotiation process can only begin with the confirmation of the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot side.
“The Greek Cypriot administration” Tatar said, continues its “maximalist and intransigent stance”. Hence, without a change in the perception of the Greek Cypriot side which, according to him, “considers itself the only absolute sovereign and legitimate administration of the island, it is not possible to find common ground”.
During the telephone conversation, Tatar drew attention to the possible contribution of the six-point cooperation proposals presented by the Turkish Cypriot side to strengthen ties and trust between the two sides. He also “condemned the rejection” by the Greek Cypriot side of the opening of special trade transit borders which, he said, would increase economic interaction and therefore trust between the two sides.
Tatar also argued that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s proposal for an Eastern Mediterranean Conference with the participation of all relevant parties, including both sides, is an important initiative for prosperity and stabilisation that will benefit both sides and the wider region.
Attempts by third parties, including the EU, to interfere in the Cyprus problem cannot be accepted under any circumstances, Tatar declared. He reiterated the Turkish Cypriot side’s support for the work being carried out by Rosemary DiCarlo and Miroslav Jenca to determine whether there is common ground for the opening of new negotiations.
The government of the Republic should immediately fulfil its responsibility regarding the decision to start the excavation of the Atlilar mass grave, which has been expected for years and was reached last January. This would not only accelerate the work of the Missing Persons’ Committee, but would also be an important confidence-building measure between the two communities, Tatar said.
For his part, according to media in the north, Guterres stressed that third parties cannot intervene in the Cyprus problem without the consent of the two sides, the “presidency” said.
He also reiterated the importance he attaches to the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposals for cooperation and confidence-building measures and referred to the trust and cooperation this would create between the two sides.
He also highlighted the importance of the agreement to begin the excavation of the Atlilar group grave and expressed his support for work on this issue.
Guterres said, that the proposals presented by Tatar to improve relations, particularly trade, are important and noted the importance of seizing opportunities for compromise in Cyprus.