TRNC President Dervis Eroglu held a press conference regarding his latest meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York.
The President, who was also accompanied amongst others, at the meeting by chief negotiator for the Turkish Cypriots, Kudret Ozersay said:
“We shared our views and opinions on the following steps in this process. We are pleased to see that Secretary General also supports step by step structuring of a result oriented process.” He noted that the atmosphere of the meeting, which lasted for half an hour, was very productive and that he had conveyed to the UNSG the Turkish Cypriots’ expectations of the Cyprus negotiations. Eroglu said that the “Secretary General expressed personal commitment to the process”.
Indicating that the Secretary General keeps the Cyprus file among the top agenda topics, Eroglu pointed out that Ban was closely following the process and “has opinions to motivate both sides”.
“We shared our opinion with the Secretary General regarding our plan to continue the negotiations and to reach a result in a speedy manner. Our wish is to see this chronic problem ending with the help of both sides’ goodwill and positive approaches. This is all we want” said Eroglu.
When asked about hydrocarbon finds off-shore Cyprus, the president said that they had not discussed the issue.
Answering a question regarding citizenship Eroglu said “Discrimination among citizens is not accepted practice anywhere in the world. Anyone who is a TRNC citizen is under constitutional protection. We do not discriminate. USA doesn’t do this to its citizens and we also don’t,” he argued.
Asked if the Good Friday Mass held in Famagusta came about as a result of the negotiations Erogu said “No we haven’t discussed it during the negotiations. It was our goodwill gesture. Greek Cypriots requested to have the ceremony in Famagusta and our Foreign Ministry has granted this permission. We respect all religions. As long as our goodwill is not exploited and is returned we are adamant to continue these gestures.”
After a journalist reminded the President that he had pointed to both sides having major differences, Eroglu said “Negotiations are conducted in order to overcome these differences. We will work together with Mr Anastasiades on eliminating these differences. Of course time will tell what will happen. However we expect this 50 years old problem to be solved”.
President Eroglu said providing that the programme the Turkish Cypriots had proposed during the negotiations was taken into consideration and if there was good will, it would be possible to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem this year.