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Eroglu evaluates meetings with Biden

23 May 2014

Turkish Cypriot President Derviş Eroğlu issued a statement from the Presidential palace following his meeting last night with US Vice President Joe Biden and President Nicos Anastasiades,

Speaking after the dinner meeting that was held in the Chateau Status restaurant in the UN buffer zone, Eroğlu said Biden’s visit to Cyprus and the messages he delivered were in line with the Turkish Cypriot viewpoint which aims to accelerate the pace of the Cyprus negotiations.

Eroğlu also said that the two leaders agreed to continue the negotiations on the basis of the joint declaration and had now agreed to meet fortnightly.

President Eroğlu stated that the atmosphere at the dinner meeting was very cordial and that Biden agreed that the talks should be result-oriented and needed speeding up.

Referring to following the road map outlined by the UN Secretary General, he said that President Anastasiades had not accepted that route and Anastasiades’ projected deadline for the talks in 2015 was unviable and that neither of the communities could be persuaded to wait that long. Inter alia Eroğlu said:

“Turkish Cypriots have never been this keen on an agreement and have never supported their leader as much as they support my leadership.

If negotiations continue till 2015 we might not find the conditions we have today.  For many years we explained what might happen to our community. Therefore claiming that all the displaced Greek Cypriots can return to their homes does not reflect the reality. I believe Mr Anastasiades will give positive messages to his community after tonight’s meeting. 

We made our proposals regarding CBMs and we will discuss those. But what’s important for us is to reach to a comprehensive solution. That is our main target. We will take our place in the world. So if we only discuss CBMs and leave the comprehensive settlement aside, these discussions might go on for years. The negotiating teams would spend too much time on CBMs and not enough time might be left for the talks on comprehensive settlement.

Our counterpart stated that they also share the same opinion. We will see how this will reflect to the negotiation table. We had good productive discussions over dinner tonight and we agreed on the joint statement.

Eroglu said that Biden had read the joint statement in the presence of both presidents adding that the statement was binding for both Turkish and Greek Cypriots. He went on to say:

“As to whether or not we discussed Varosha, I can say that as long as the two sides agree, we can discuss a package. Of course the issue is left to the decision of the two leaders.

You know our sensitivities. Mr Anastasiades said they are working on the CBMs. We will put all of them together and evaluate. But of course CBMs can never replace our proposals for a comprehensive solution.”

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