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FM Colak concerned about territory demands by South

2 February 2016

TNRC Foreign Minister Emine Colak, has described as “worrying” the statements made by Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides regarding the immediate return of the fenced off city of Varosha. He demanded its return on the first day of the solution to the Cyprus problem, the return of some territories and the withdrawal of Turkish troops. Colak argued that the issues put forward by the Foreign Minister are being discussed at the negotiating table and added:

“Everyone may have personal wishes and views. And these views may be expressed. Varosha and other issues are on the table. Negotiations are continuing. For this reason, making such statements during the ongoing negotiating process is not helpful to the solution. Now, because the negotiations are under way, no one is in the position to demand preconditions. I find this statement untimely and unnecessary”, she said.

Referring to the recent meeting held in Nicosia between South Cyprus, Israel and Greece and the agreement on the energy issue, Colak argued that they are worried about agreements and discussions about energy. The concern is that these could exclude the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, before a solution to the Cyprus problem is reached.

She added: “It is difficult to say that the statements made after the agreement include concrete steps. However, we think that their statement that they are open to cooperation with other sides as regards the hydrocarbons is significant. We note with concern, any initiative which could exclude the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey from the energy issue. For the time being general terms are being used, there is no concrete step. The important thing is how the terms used during this meeting will be implemented”.

Colak said that steps taken before the solution of the Cyprus problem by all sides should not be influencing the negotiating process and claimed: “They should be aware of, at least in some measure, our sensitivities”.

Star Kibris

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