Former TRNC President, Mehmet Ali Talat, says that the newly elected President of south Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades is a reasonable person with positive views on the Cyprus problem. However he argued that there were some people with negative views around the president.
He added that President Anastasiades projects a positive image in the eyes of the UN, the USA and the EU and suggested that the Turkish side be mindful of this fact.
Speaking on national TV, Talat said that three and a half years with former president Papadopoulos had been time wasted and that negotions had only been held for one and a half years during his own presidency which had not been long enough to gain any results.
Talat said that former President Christofias had never publicised any agreements that they had reached and had always contradicted him [Talat] when he had said that progress had been achieved.
Talat continued that President Anastasiades held fewer reservations and fears than the former President Christofias, because of what he described as his closeness to nationalistic and religious circles. Talat, however, expressed the belief that President Anastasiades “could not achieve a solution by dragging the Turkish side” towards the solution.
Referring to the issue of transferring the duty of negotiator to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Talat said that this would be wrong and pointed out that this duty belongs to the president and only if the latter assigns the Minister of Foreign Affairs or somebody else to this duty, such an arrangement could be made. He noted, though, that the level of the negotiations would be lowered and that the final word should again, belong to the president as community leader.
Talat concluded that he did not expect positive results during the new process arguing that “the conditions are not appropriate”.