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Nami reports on his UK visit

21 February 2015

The international community is waiting for the resumption of the Cyprus negotiations after the elections which will be held in the TRNC on 19th April, Foreign Minister Ozdil Nami has said.

Assessing his visit to the UK, Nami said that the issue had not been shelved and added that “a meeting between the leaders will be held within this year, there is no other way”.

Nami having completed his contacts in Britain is expected to meet with the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu. It is said that they will discuss the Cyprus negotiations, the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, and the issues of hellim-halloumi cheese and Turkish Cypriot football.

Speaking to ‘Kibris Gazetesi’, Nami said that during his visit to the UK he met with leading figures at the House of Lords and the House of Commons and delivered a talk on the Cyprus problem at the London School of Economics.

Nami said that he had given interviews to the British media and had held unofficial contacts with members of the British government with whom he had established friendly relations. He noted that they discussed the situation on the Cyprus talks, the influence of natural gas on the process and expectations for 2015.

Nami added: “Two issues came up here. What should be done in order for Anastasiades to unconditionally return to the negotiating table and the steps needed to be taken for the ending of the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots while the process continues”. He noted that in the UK, a “greater understanding is being developed” towards the Turkish Cypriots and the British officials he had met said that more concrete steps should be taken, especially towards lifting the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

Referring to the negotiations, Nami said: “I think that Anastasiades leaving the table has created a more positive background here regarding the promotion of our positions on this issue. Until today we were told that ‘the negotiations are about to be completed and therefore we do not want to do anything which will annoy one of the sides’. However, now the collapse of this expectation and arriving at this point because the Greek Cypriot leader abandoned the table has caused a further broadening of the understanding that ‘the Turkish Cypriots cannot pay the price for this anymore'”.

Referring to the issue of halloumi-hellim cheese, Nami claimed that the Greek Cypriots are not at the same position that they had been at the beginning when they had demanded the production of hellim in North Cyprus be controlled by the Republic of Cyprus’ Ministry of Agriculture. He said that now they accepted that control could be held by an independent body for both sides of the island.

Nami stated that the red line for the Turkish Cypriots on this issue is the establishment of a mechanism by the Greek Cypriot Ministry of Agriculture to control the production of Hellim cheese in the TRNC and the expansion of Greek Cypriot sovereignty to North Cyprus.

He explained that turning the issue into a matter of sovereignty “makes the situation more difficult”.

Source Kibris Gazetesi

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