The Turkish Cypriot side made a grave concession and strategic mistake by presenting a map during last month’s talks in Geneva, Prime Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun has said
Speaking on BEST FM, the Prime Minister said that the Turkish Cypriot side, with this move, had left themselves nothing to bargain with at the negotiating table.
Criticising President Akinci for presenting a map at the table, despite the lack of resolution of other outstanding issues, Ozgurgun questioned what was left to negotiate with the Greek Cypriot leader.
“As to this, the Greek Cypriot leader will not discuss whether or not Turkish troops should withdraw from Cyprus, he will be demanding this and will push for this to happen. We should never have come to this point”.
“The negotiations have ended. We’ve already put a map on the table and the three guarantor countries have sat at the table to discuss the issue of security and guarantees. Greece has made it clear that it will not discuss anything regarding the withdrawal of Turkish troops. I’m curious to know what is left for them to discuss,” he said.
“The Greek Cypriot side is clearly stating that a solution will not be possible without the withdrawal of Turkish troops. The Turkish side is stating that a solution will not be possible without the presence of Turkish troops. When I say this out loud the President critcises me instead of the Greek Cypriot side,” he said.
On the issue of territory, the Prime Minister pointed out that the founding President, Rauf Raif Denktaş had never presented a map on the basis of 29%+.
“A map on the basis of 29%+ would have only emerged if an agreement was reached at the time,” he added.
Ozgurgun was reminded that his party had voted against the Annan Plan.
“I voted against the Annan Plan and I have a clear conscious. The National Unity Party was the only party which led the “no” campaign,” he said.
The Prime Minister also pointed out that Turkish Cypriots continue to be punished with embargoes and isolation despite voting in favour of the settlement plan in 2004.