Attempts to find a federal solution to the Cyprus problem have ended in deadlock, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Ozersay has said.
He also said that he did not agree with President Mustafa Akinci, who wanted to continue the same process to solve the Cyprus problem.
Ozersay argued that it was time to try the idea of “partnership based on cooperation instead of a federation”, citing the natural gas issue as an example for cooperation.
He criticised the international energy companies that are carry out hydrocarbon exploration on behalf of South Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriots have the right to be given compensation, he said:
“If the Turkish Cypriots are one of the partners to this wealth, how do you give to one partner only rights such as the use, the extraction of this natural gas, without the consent of the Turkish Cypriots? At some point, as companies, you will also face a problem. You will enter into the responsibility of [paying] compensation. Such a right will emerge for us and we will claim it.
“The companies should send the following message to the Greek Cypriot side: We have come to this point, but from now on we will have a problem, you should sit down and speak with the Turkish Cypriots, and agree on how you will share it”.
Regarding the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Ozersay said, “I could say that the authority and responsibility of the UN Peacekeeping Force has started to be questioned now with the initiatives we have undertaken”. He added that he believed that this had annoyed the Greek Cypriot side.
“The logic that the mandate is renewed without changes once every six months has started to disintegrate and the issue is being discussed a great deal in the south as well. Diplomatic initiatives do not yield results in one meeting. It is a process, you meet, you influence. These views are now being discussed. The important thing is for the decision to be taken at the end of the six month period after today.
“We have started working on this issue as of today. The UN has a presence of around 800 soldiers and in parallel to this, police and civilian personnel. The reason why the sides avoid taking certain actions in the buffer zone since 1964 is not the UN’s active intervention in the situation. What deters the two sides from taking action against each other at the point of contact, is the fact that the UN officials observe and report it. There is a stance of avoiding being the ‘bad child’.
“Our proposal is for the UN to perform their task as a civilian mission rather than a military one. During our contacts in the US, I have gained the impression that our interlocutors, with additional questions, have tried to understand the different aspects of this issue and that they will be able to include our demands in the system during the advancing process”.