Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said that “this is the last chance for the solution” to the Cyprus problem.
Speaking to ‘Havadis’ newspaper’s correspondent in New York, Esra Aygin, prior to the meeting between Presidents Akinci, Anastasiades and Ban Ki-moon, the Turkish FM sent an important message regarding the issues of guarantees and the cost of the solution.
Describing the current negotiations as the “last chance for the solution”, Cavusoglu said that this was not a bluff or a threat but the reality. He added that he would not even like to think of other alternatives in the case of a non-solution. “Let’s evaluate the point we have reached until now”, Cavusoglu said.
Referring to the issue of security and guarantees, Cavusoglu stated that the concerns of the two communities about the issue of security should be addressed. “After all, the two peoples would live together. Both sides should be satisfied in order to say ‘yes’ in a referendum. The Turkish Cypriot side cannot forget the incidents experienced in the past. And I am sure that the Greek Cypriot side [cannot forget] as well . We can reach a result if we look at the issue from a positive perspective”, Cavusoglu said. Noting that Turkey and Greece are holding an unofficial dialogue regarding the issue of guarantees, Cavusoglu stressed the need for finding a formula that will take into consideration the sensitivities of both communities.
Asked if Turkey will finance a possible solution of the Cyprus problem and whether Turkey will write off the TRNC’s debt, Cavusoglu said the following:
“Neither Turkey, nor Greece will unilaterally cover the cost of the solution. The EU, the international community and the other countries that support the solution – we should all exert common efforts towards this. In such a case, again Turkey would contribute more. Regarding the loan and the fund to be established regarding the properties, Turkey would again contribute more. In a possible solution, great economic opportunities will come up. Implementing these opportunities would be of benefit not only for the two sides, but also for Turkey, Greece and the whole region as well.”
Regarding the TRNC’s debt to Turkey, Cavusoglu stated that this matter will be solved between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot founding state. “This issue should not become an issue of bargaining in the current negotiation process. We would settle this matter between ourselves”, Cavusoglu said, adding that Turkey and the TRNC will proceed with economic and structural reforms until a solution is found, in order to bridge the economic gap which exists between the two communities.
Replying to another question, Cavusoglu stated that nobody can impose a solution on the island. “If this happens, then the solution would not be viable. For this reason, there will not be any impositions, the solution will be found by the two sides at the negotiation table. Finally, there will be referenda. The two sides will not accept anything imposed by others. The solution to be found should be approved and accepted by the two peoples”, said Cavusoglu.
Asked what will happen if a solution is not found within 2016, Cavusoglu stated that the Cyprus problem has been prolonged and will not be discussed open-ended. He said that he did not want to say what would happen in the event of a deadlock.