Cyprus: Officials’ comings and goings on the Island in view of the 5+1 meeting

Cyprus: Officials’ comings and goings on the Island in view of the 5+1 meeting

The Turkish Foreign Minister concluded a two-day official visit to the Northern Turkish occupied part of Cyprus, while British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab landed on the island on Wednesday (February 3) for a two-day visit. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is also be visiting Cyprus on Monday, February 8, according to confirmed information.

Mevlut Cavusoglu wrapped up his two-day official visit to the northern part of Cyprus, where he met with Turkish Cypriot authorities on Monday and Tuesday.

More specifically, on Monday, the Turkish Minister met for the first time with the Speaker of the Turkish Cypriot leadership Onder Sennaroglu and later with the so-called Prime Minister of the Turkish Cypriot community Ersan Saner, where they discussed the common agenda, especially on the Cyprus issue.

Mevlut Cavusoglu was received by Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Tuesday, during a post-talks press conference in which he noted that the search for a solution to the Cyprus problem for 52 years had failed “due to the attitude of the Greek Cypriot administration, which does not want to share anyhing with the Turkish Cypriots and the TRNC”.

He added that during the meetings in Crans Montana, both Turkey and the “TRNC” stated that these were “the final negotiations for the federation; we will not negotiate for a federation in the following period”.

“Negotiations must now take place on the basis of sovereign equality. If there is sovereign equality, then there can be two states”, he said.

“There are already two communities on the island of Cyprus, two peoples, two states”, Cavusoglu said, adding that “there is a de facto situation whether they recognize it or not. That fact must be taken into account”.

Regarding the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cavusoglu said that half of the issue would be resolved if they could find a solution for the distribution of natural resource revenues in Cyprus.

Cavusoglu added that the Greek Cypriot side does not want to share hydrocarbon revenues in the region, recalling that Turkey has proposed to the EU a multilateral conference on the Eastern Mediterranean.

“All the Mediterranean countries can come. There are still companies operating in the Mediterranean; these countries and these companies must participate”, the Turkish official said.

Regarding the participation, Cavusoglu stressed that the meeting should be monitored by both sides [Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot] or on a separate platform. “In other words, both sides can participate or neither”, he said, adding that Turkey prefers “both sides to participate and find a solution to a fair distribution”.

For his part, Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said that the fact that the views of Turkey and the “TRNC” on the Cyprus issue are 100% identical strengthens them, adding that the process for the informal conference on Cyprus to be organized under the auspices of the UN in March continue.

Raab to meet with Anastasiades, Christodoulides, Tatar and Spehar in Cyprus

The official visit of the British Foreign Secretary to Cyprus on Wednesday, a few hours after his meeting with the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, who visited London and discussed the Cyprus issue, is also considered important for the development of the Cyprus talks. According to the program, Dominic Raab will meet with the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, his counterpart Nicos Christodoulides, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Elizabeth Spehar and the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar in an effort to define the UN framework that will determine the talks on the Cyprus issue at the upcoming informal meeting in March.

The context of the talks has entered into a process of “negotiation” between the parties, communities and guarantors, without having been clarified, as Turkey, Turkish Cypriots and the British want the talks to start from the beginning, while Greece and the Greek Cypriots from where the two sides left them off in Crans-Montana in 2017.

Dendias, Christodoulides have telephone conversation, Mitsotakis to visit Cyprus

At the end of his contacts in London, Nikos Dendias contacted the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulidis, informing him about the talks he had with his British counterpart on the Cyprus issue, the negotiating framework and the intentions of Great Britain.

While the Greek Foreign Minister was in London, it became known that the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will go to Cyprus on Monday, February 8, where he will have a meeting with the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades to discuss their next steps in the Cyprus issue and Eastern Mediterranean./ibna