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Tatar seems to do U-turn on Cyprus special envoy

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Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar

A UN Secretary-General Special Adviser could be appointed for Cyprus under certain conditions Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said on Tuesday, despite categorically denying any such an appointment the previous day.

“There could, under certain conditions, be a personal envoy who would work directly with the UN Secretary-General. After all, this has been our position for two years,” Tatar told Turkish Cypriot journalist Hasan Hasturer on his return flight from the UN General Assembly in New York.

In an article in Kibris, Tatar was asked if he agreed with the Secretary-general on the issue of the having a special adviser, to which he said, “it is a sensitive issue.”

A day ago, Tatar said he would “never accept” the appointment of a UN special envoy for Cyprus.

He was speaking at Ercan (Tymbou) airport following his return to the island from 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.

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.

Asked what he could say about the background to his contacts in New York, Tatar said he had made it clear to Guterres that his [Tatar’s] new policy was continuing.

“We mentioned that the other [Greek Cypriot] side is trying to bend us with isolation and that can never be acceptable. We emphasised that our earned and inherent rights are being mercilessly violated. I said that nobody will be able to force us to a certain solution, since the basic principle of the UN rules is freely negotiable, mutually acceptable. When I explained that in the past our goodwill was shown in the Annan Plan and Crans Montana, that the Greek Cypriot side rejected this, but the side that said no to the Annan Plan and joined the EU was rewarded, I noticed that the Greek Cypriot did not react to us.”

Tatar also explained to the UN chief that since negotiations cannot formally start, he would be able to meet with the Greek Cypriot leader under the UN Secretary General to discuss chapters, which would benefit both people, including irregular migration, renewable energy, electricity, water management, demining, or sharing the profits of hydrocarbons.

“Also, I referred to the opening of the checkpoint at Mia Milia for commercial vehicles. The UN Secretary-General sees this as positive,” he said.

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