Turkish President Abdullah Gül who is in Cyprus in order to attend the 40th anniversary “celebrations” of 20th July 1974 Turkish military operation, met with Turkish Cypriot President Derviş Eroğlu, ‘Kibris Postasi’ reports.
After his meeting with Eroğlu, President Gül began by saying that he had always had a close relationship with the Turkish Cypriots and had been involved with the Cyprus problem for the greater part of his career.
Referring to his meeting with Eroğlu, Gül said that they had held a very productive meeting and both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots were in accord regarding the Cyprus problem and remain committed to work for a comprehensive settlement.
Gül said that both the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey had demonstrated their will for a solution by supporting the Annan Plan and that if the current negotiations fail, alternative solutions will be discussed.
Asked whether these “alternative” solutions meant promoting the recognition of TRNC and if so how realistic would that be given the UN Security Council resolutions had clearly sets the limits, Gül said:
“Our ultimate aim is to reach a settlement of this half century long conflict but we demonstrated our will for a solution by saying “yes” to the Annan Plan, currently Mr. Eroğlu sincerely works on reaching a solution based on the UN parameters. But if this process does not produce results than its natural to think about ‘alternatives’”.
Gül also said that the tragic events in the Middle East should act as a catalyst for peace-making efforts in Cyprus.
However, the Turkish President also said that Turkey cannot approve a model where Turkish Cypriots would live as a minority under Greek Cypriot control.
An ‘Al Jazeera’ journalist asked the both presidents what was the ‘one’ thing that is blocking the solution in Cyprus, Gül declined to answer while Eroğlu repeated his earlier remarks and said that Turkish Cypriot side is working hard for a comprehensive solution.
Answering a question about the cross-visits to Athens and Ankara and Özersay’s comments about the Athens part of the cross-visits being problematic, Eroğlu said that the Greek government has problems with recognising Kudret Özersay’s position as the negotiator.