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Eroğlu critical of FM Nami’s comments on Cyprus talks

6 June 2014

Turkish Cypriot President Derviş  has expressed his disapproval of earlier statements by Foreign Minister Özdil Nami. President Derviş Eroğlu said that he did not approve of the criticisms made by the foreign minister, ‘Kibris Postasi’ reports.

“Mr. Nami has criticised me by ignoring the facts. I do not approve of his remarks”, Eroğlu said.

The president gave a reminder that the negotiations were being conducted between the leaders of the two communities

He said that despite the fact that a number of convergences had been reached on the chapters of Territory and Property during his meetings with the former Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias, the current Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades was tabling proposals with preconditions.

Stating that they have been trying to do everything possible to persuade the Greek Cypriot Side to accept all the convergences reached over the  past 4 years of negotiations, Eroğlu said that he had conveyed the Turkish Cypriot wish for a solution deadline once more to both the UN Secretary General and the US Vice President.

Eroğlu said that it will be the Turkish Cypriots who will feel the negative impact of a non-solution which was the main reason why the Turkish Cypriots truly desired a settlement.

“Nevertheless this does not mean that we will accept a solution at all costs. Our goal is to reach an agreement which the public can openly and willingly vote in favour of,” he said.

Earlier on, Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Özdil Nami had expressed pessimism regarding the fate of negotiations after the leaders meeting. “I am pessimistic about the picture that came out after the leaders meeting,” Nami said.

Speaking on a television programme where he was evaluating the latest developments in the negotiations, Nami said that issues like “rotating presidency” are among the issues that can never be compromised by the Turkish Cypriot side but yet they are brought to the table. Nami believes that it is problematic that this kind of issue is not dealt with.

Touching upon the “governance and distribution of power” headings Nami stated that these headings were among three headings alongside the EU and economy  and that some progress was made in the previous round.

“The fact that these convergence papers are not used effectively at the negotiations indicates a deep difference of opinion between the two leaders,” said Nami and added “Turkish Cypriot side should have been persistent about the effective use of these papers, not doing that was a tactical mistake”.

According to Nami achieving new convergences is not possible without the effective use of the convergence papers from previous round of talks.

Criticising Greek Cypriot side for not “respecting” the convergence papers Nami urged Turkish Cypriot leadership to take action by directly communicating with the UN Secretary General and conveying the reasons for lack of progress. “The Turkish Cypriot side should appeal to UN SG and urge him to be directly involved in the process. Unfortunately the things that should happen are not happening but the ones that should be included at the table are left out,” said Nami.

Nami also said that UN should take the ownership of the convergences as they were achieved under the auspices UN.

Nami claimed that if Eroğlu had taken the right action, UN and US officials could put pressure on the Greek Cypriot side to change their attitude towards the convergences.

“The Greek Cypriot side brings the presidency issue and majority vote to the table, an issue which Turkish Cypriot side cannot compromise on. This is an indicator of the status of the negotiations which, in my opinion is not positive”. 

Nami also said that Biden’s visit could not be utilised for momentum because “The Greek Cypriot side diverted the focus to issues like Varosha.”

“We wanted to be in dialogue with the presidency and exchange ideas during this crucial process, however this has not happened so far,”  Nami added.

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