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No deals over Maras/Varosha: TRNC says

20 June 2013

According to a Turkish Cypriot daily, TRNC Foreign Minister Kutlay Erk, has said that the government opposes the appointment of negotiators in the Cyprus talks as it lowers the level of the negotiations, which “have been going on at the level of the leaders between the two sides on the island since 1968 with the aim of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem within the framework of established UN parameters”.

In a written statement issued yesterday, Erk said that the Turkish Cypriot side want the commencement of the negotiations to be held between both leaders of the Cypriot communities with the aim of reaching a solution as soon as possible and added that “all sides concerned should know that we oppose any kind of action and arrangement that would prolong the solution process”.

Referring to the issue of the fenced off town of Maras/Varosha and proposals which relate its return with the formal recognition of Ercan airport, Erk said: “It is necessary to once more underline that Maras is a part of the comprehensive solution and it is not possible for it to be discussed outside of a comprehensive solution”.

Only recently it was reported that the Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides said that returning Maras to its former occupants would be a gesture of goodwill and would be a “game-changer” in the Cyprus negotiations.

Erk stated that bargaining for recognition of Ercan in return for Varosha is “untimely”, because the opening of the airport is an international obligation, which should be “urgently” granted independently from the negotiating process, as this move was promised by the international community to the Turkish Cypriots in 2004.

Erk continued that Maras/Varosha is a part of the comprehensive solution; picking and focusing on a few elements from the whole would damage and prolong the process, and makes the establishment of a whole package impossible.

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