Former negotiators in the Cyprus talks Ergün Olgun and Osman Ertuğ have sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling on him to encourage the two leaders to produce new alternative formulas which will not lead to a repetition of past disappointments and failures in Cyprus.
According to a statement issued by the two former negotiators, the letter was delivered to the UN Secretary-General at the 6th Istanbul Mediation Conference held in Istanbul on October 31.
The letter reminded the Secretary-General that all sides had made it clear, following the collapse of the Cyprus negotiations in Crans-Montana, 2017, that efforts to reach a federal settlement in Cyprus had been exhausted.
It stated that the UN leader, in his report published after the collapse of negotiations at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana, had asked the sides to enter a period of reflection and to return to him with new and creative ideas.
“Instead of responding positively to the UN Secretary-General’s call, the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades had backed out of past convergences and presented conflicting and confusing ideas that contradicted the principle of political equality. President Mustafa Akıncı, on the other hand, has insisted on a bi-zonal federation based on political equality and effective participation in decision-making processes”, the two former negotiators said in their statement.
Olgun and Ertuğ said that over 50 years of failed negotiations had proved that a federal settlement in Cyprus was not possible.
“The biggest obstacle for a federal settlement in Cyprus is the Greek and Greek Cypriot mentality that perceives the island as Greek”, the statement read.
The letter added that the Greek Cypriot side had no intention of sharing the power or wealth with the Turkish Cypriots and was comfortable with the status quo.
“Turkish Cypriots, on the other hand, will never accept a structure that does not recognise them as equal founding partners, which does not recognise their institutions or which tries to reduce them to a minority. Nor will Turkish Cypriots abandon Turkey’s active and effective guarantee”, it said.
The letter also said that the time had come to stop perceiving and presenting a federal solution as the only option for an agreement on the island.
“If we are to end the current deadlock in Cyprus and to establish good friendly and neighbourly relations between the two peoples then we must be open to ideas that break dogmas”, the statement concluded.