The differences around the Cyprus Matter remain

The differences around the Cyprus Matter remain


By Manolis Kostidis – Athens

Evaggelos Venizelos and Ahmet Davutoglu show their intention towards a solution of the Cyprus Matter, but the differences remain. In the press conference that took place after the meeting between the two Ministers, Ev. Venizelos spoke of a “federation of two communities; a solution that will respect the decisions of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the European Union decisions, while Ahmet Davutoglu talked about “a confederacy of two founding states” in effect asking for the recognition of the “pseudo-state”. The two sides seem to have agreed to the visits of the representatives both of the greek-cyprian and the turkish-cyprian communities in Ankara and Athens respectively.

Evaggelos Venizeos, nevertheless, made it clear that “whatever solution is agreed upon after the negotiations, will have to be sanctioned by the Cypriot people with a referendum”.

In addition, he pointed out that the Council for the cooperation between the two countries will take place on September 2014, after the elections in Greece and the presidential elections in Turkey. It is essentially postponed, since it was expected to take place in the first half of 2014.

The turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, after he expressed his satisfaction for the cooperation in the financial sector, said that “I am glad that greek pilots work in turkish airlines, that is our pilots do not only meet over the Aegean, but also fly peacefully with the turkish airlines”.

Ahmet Davutoglu refrained from answering whether Agia Sofia will be used as a mosque, like many turkish government officials have said, but pointed out that “Agia Sofia, on which during the 16th century Sinan added more parts, is being cherished by us“. The turksih Minister stated that Ankara respects the historic monuments that are of global interest. Evagelos Venizelos made it clear that Agia Sofia is an UNESCO monument.

At the same time he recognized that Turkey is taking steps towards the respect of the minorities’ human rights, “we are already returning over a billion dollars worth of properties to many monasteries belonging to minority groups, while at the same time allow the Patriarchy of Istanbul to elect conciliars who do not have the turkish citizenship.

Evagelos Venizelos pointed out that the Global Patriarchy is an international entity and its function does not only concern the matters of the minority, essentially reminding Davutoglu that Fener is not a matter that concerns only Turkey. He also mentioned that the muftis matter was discussed referring to the problem that arises from their combined religious and the judicial role. In relation to the matter of Athen’s mosque the greek Minister of Foreign Affairs said that its construction has been undertook by a known construction company, a fact that guarantees its construction. He also mentioned that the historic Fethiye mosque is being reconstructed.

Davutoglu expressed his satisfaction to the fact and said that all these add “more beauty to Athens”.