The Cyprus negotiations need speeding up, says TRNC Prime Minister Ozkan Yorgancioglu. Speaking to TAK news agency, the CTP leader said that even if the return of Maras/Varosha were agreed on today, it would take 3-4 years to achieve it.
Evaluating the issues of Maras, confidence building measures, hydrocarbons, the economic benefits of a solution and the attack against former President Mehmet Ali Talat in Limassol, Yorgancioglu repeated that the issue of Maras could only be dealt with as part of a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem.
“Even if we decided to open Maras today, it would take 3-4 years to accomplish. Instead of waiting so long we can focus and settle the problem. Perhaps the issue of rebuilding Maras could be put on the table if there is significant progress achieved in the talks, a project to be put into implementation as and when a solution is found could be prepared. Anything other than that is out of the question” he said.
Referring to the issue of hydrocarbons, the PM said that any revenues to be derived from the sale of natural gas before a settlement should be collected in a joint fund to be used for the benefit of both communities as and when a solution is found. Adding that it was important to create opportunities from the current negative situation as a solution would be of economic benefit everyone on the island. “As everyone is well aware, investors seek stability. A settlement will bring stability which in return will attract investors” he said.
Responding to a question regarding the attack on the former president Mehmet Ali Talat in Limassol and the concerns it created within Turkish Cypriot society, the Prime Minister reminded that there were far right groups in South Cyprus but that people should not fall into the trap of generalising and perceiving all Greek Cypriots as being opposed to a solution.
He also reminded everyone that the Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiadis and the Greek Cypriot leadership in general had condemned the attack and taken a series of measures, including firing the Chief of Police, to ensure such incidents were not repeated.