Security for the Turkish Cypriots in any Cyprus settlement was paramount, Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Hadi Sinirlioglu said on Monday. The guarantor countries would need to be involved in addressing the issue during the negotiations he added.
The recently appointed Turkish Foreign Minister, on his first official visit to the TRNC, was speaking at a joint news conference in North Nicosia with President Mustafa Akinci.
“These issues will be addressed in the negotiations for the solution that will emerge and the new sustainable system that is going to be established. And for this to happen the guarantor countries need to be involved,” Sinirlioglu said.
The Turkish side has been pushing for a five-party conference that would include the two sides, and 1960 guarantors Greece, Turkey and Britain but the Greek Cypriot side wants to leave the issue of guarantees until the end of the process and feels that EU membership is a good enough guarantee of protection for the rights of all Cypriots, in the event of a solution.
Sinirlioglu said he and Akinci had discussed the current stage of the negotiations process and that they exchanged views on cooperation between Turkey and the TRNC.
“Without losing any more time, we will provide the necessary support in order to be able to take steps towards a Cyprus solution. It is our aim to reach a solution which guarantees political equality and one in which Turkish Cypriots feel safe. We hope that the Greek community respond positively to the demands of the Turkish community. We recognise that the political will exists for a common future, to be constructed in partnership by the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities,” he added.
President Akinci said that he expected a more active contribution to the process from Athens, after the Greek elections on 20th September.