Turkey’s Permanent Representative at the UN and former Undersecretary at the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Feridun Sinirlioglu has said that he is optimistic that a solution to the Cyprus problem will be reached by the end of 2016 but warned that “a new game may come onto the agenda if there is no solution”.
Sinirlioglu, who was speaking to Turkish daily ‘Hurriyet’, stated that this is a milestone as regards the Cyprus problem. “As our President stated in 2004, we will continue to be a step ahead on the solution of the Cyprus problem. However, this is not a never-ending procedure”, he said, adding that everyone knows that if by the end of this year a solution safeguarding the establishment of a partnership state, based on the equality of two founding states is not reached, then this game will come to an end.
He went on to say that both the UN Secretary-General and the President of the EU Commission had said that this game was coming to an end and that the Greek Cypriots had reacted against these “realistic statements.” “However, (the Greek Cypriots) know that if a solution is not reached by the end of this year in the framework of the February 2014 statement and other parameters, then a new game will begin”, he said, adding that at this stage, only a solution between two states could be negotiated.
“However, I believe that a solution based on the political equality of two founding states is close, that a solution will be reached before the end of the year and a partnership state will be established”, he concluded.