President Eroglu evaluating the meeting between himself and President Anastasiades which concluded with an agreement on the joint statement, said that the atmosphere was cordial and sincere.
However, he cautioned that the joint statement did not in itself solve the Cyprus problem and that there were issues which were not especially clear and could be interpreted in various way, in particular he referred to the issue of sovereignty.
“What will lead us to a comprehensive solution is a structured process which includes give and take,” he said.
He pointed out that issues such as sovereignty, internal citizenship and powers “should be concluded with concrete proposals by the sides through negotiations”.
Eroglu noted that the negotiators on both sides will meet on Friday 14th February to prepare a “step by step programme for the process” and provide clarification on the negotiations structure.
The president, mindful of the past, said the Turkish Cypriots had experienced great trauma and pain by being excluded from partnership after 1963; adding that it was really the Turkish Cypriots where were the ones who “pay the price of the continuation of the problem”.
Eroglu said that they had stipulated in the agreement, that no one can unilaterally change the order which will be created on the island and this is important when the events which took place after 1963 are considered.
Asked whether the international community is now active on the Cyprus problem, Eroglu replied that Cyprus is an international problem which has continued for years and that outside interventions might occur in these conditions, but the two sides on the island have given their approval for the joint declaration and the important thing is the start of the negotiations.
When reminded that according to some sources, confidence building measures would appear on the table during the first meeting of the leaders, Eroglu replied that they are not opposed to confidence building measures and that if the issue of the occupied closed city of Maras/Varosha comes onto the agenda, they would evaluate it. He noted that no proposal regarding Maras/Varosha had been submitted to the table and added that in case such a proposal should be made, they would give their answer.
Asked about paragraph 8 of the joint statement which remains empty, Eroglu said that the two sides could find not common ground on it and therefore, at his suggestion, it was left empty.
He concluded that the aim was to reach a settlement which would protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people.