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Tatar says he will ‘never accept’ UN special envoy appointment

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York (Photo: UN)

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said on Monday that he would “never accept” the appointment of a United Nations special envoy to Cyprus.

Tatar was speaking at Ercan (Tymbou) airport following his return to the island from the UN General Assembly in New York.

“I told [UN Secretary General Antonio] Guterres that we are very opposed to the appointment of the special representative to implement Security Council decisions, to make reports, and to impose a federal solution onto us,” he said.

The UN had earlier said it was awaiting Tatar’s response regarding the possibility of appointing a special envoy for the Cyprus issue.

According to sources, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in his meeting with Guterres appeared positive to the United Nations proposal, but deferred to Tatar leader as the final decision-maker in the matter.

The same information stated that the UN considers the appointment of an envoy as a step to end the prolonged stalemate in the Cyprus conflict.

President Nikos Christodoulides had told Guterres that it would be constructive if the envoy has a permanent base in Cyprus, instead of visiting it periodically.

In addition to his statements on the potential UN envoy, Tatar also spoke more generally on the Cyprus problem.

“We will not allow ourselves to lose our rights. The book of the federal solution, which has lasted for 60 years, has now been closed. We will no longer sit at the table unless our new politics, that is sovereign equality and equal political status, is accepted,” he said.

He added that negotiations can only resume “with the acceptance of the equal sovereign status of the Turkish Cypriot people”.

However, he did say the two sides of Cyprus should cooperate “on some issues”.

“For example, irregular migration, the exploration of natural resources, renewable energy, the interconnection of energy to Europe via Turkey, the clearing of mines. We said if this is accepted, the two leaders and [Guterres] can meet. This will be a test of their sincerity,” he said.

“I told [Guterres] and other people I met that the embargoes and isolation imposed on us should be lifted to bridge the gap between the two sides.”

House speaker Annita Demetriou met with Turkish Cypriot political party CTP leader Tufan Erhurman to exchange views on the Cyprus problem on Monday.

At the meeting, both sides agreed to “exert pressure and to have coordinated joint initiatives from both sides for the immediate appointment of a United Nations special envoy for the Cyprus problem.”

“We will not get tired of repeating that the future of Cyprus is not partition, nor two states. We must focus all our efforts to create common ground and cultivate trust, to end the deadlock and resume negotiations from the point at which they were interrupted, on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality,” Demetriou said.

She added that the appointment of a special envoy would be a “decisive step in this direction”.

“We do not have the luxury of time. We can neither erase the convergences we have found, nor start from scratch.”

Erhurman was joined by the CTP’s foreign relations secretary Fikri Toros, and its general secretary Asim Akansoy, while Demetriou was joined by MP Nicos Tornaritis, Disy deputy leader Giorgos Karoullas, the party’s deputy spokesperson Xenia Konstantinou and the party’s executive office member Charalambos Stavrides.



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