In a written statement, President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades responded to statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at the Turkish National Assembly today, clarifying his goals.
Nicos Anastasiades notes in his statement that: “I am deeply saddened by the recent statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister, which essentially send a message that the Turkish side will not return to the negotiating table if its claims are not met.
I want to make it clear that under the threats and conditions posed by Turkey, not only is not the necessary positive climate created, but the effort made by the Secretary-General is also contaminated.
I would like to reiterate my determination, during my trilateral meeting with the UN Secretary-General, to reiterate the Greek Cypriot side’s expressed political will to agree on the Terms of Reference, in order to create the conditions for a creative dialogue so that we can reach a truly functional and viable solution of the Cyprus problem, within the bounds of UN resolutions, away from guarantors, the presence of foreign troops and any dependencies.
Our aim was and remains the creation of a fully independent and sovereign state, with full human rights of all Cypriot people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, on the basis of EU principles and values, of which Cyprus is and will remain a member”.
Earlier, speaking at the Turkish National Assembly’s budget committee on the budget of his ministry for 2020, Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey is not thinking of would sit at the negotiating table under the current conditions for the Cyprus issue, adding that for any new process to be initiated, the ambiguity on the political equality should be lifted.
“Turkey, which has the largest coastline in the eastern Mediterranean, has legal rights and interests in the maritime areas west and north of Cyprus. Our country has taken the necessary measures to protect them and will continue to take them”, the Turkish Foreign Minister said.
He said they keep the door open for dialogue with Greece, but on the Cyprus issue he does not think Turkey will sit at the table under the existing conditions.
“I would like to state in your presence that on the national issue of the Cyprus problem we will not sit at the negotiating table again just for the sake of it. We note to our interlocutors that for a new process to be launched, all ambiguities regarding the political equality of the two sides must first be removed”, the Turkish Foreign Minister added.
As for the EU, Mevlut Cavusoglu noted that despite the Union’s problems with Turkey, his country sees the accession process as a strategic goal. “The attitude of the EU towards our country, however, is unjust and unacceptable. The EU has not taken steps to overcome the confidence crisis created by us following the July 15 coup attemot. In addition, by giving credence to the unfounded claims of the terrorist organization and its supporters, a negative climate has been created in relation to Operation Peace Source. The EU not only does it not properly monitor important developments in the regional and international field, but neither does it assess their causes and effects in an objective and comprehensive way. We have seen the latest example in the reckless decisions taken for Albania and North Macedonia in the Balkans”.
Finally, Mevlut Cavusoglu said that they remain convinced that if the EU realizes the mistakes it has made and sees the value added by Turkey’s accession to the Union, there will be beneficial relations for both sides and confidence will be restored. To conclude: “In this context, we attach particular importance to updating the customs union and visa liberation”./ibna