President Ersin Tatar receives Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus and Head of UNFICYP Colin Stewart
President Ersin Tatar received the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus and Head of UNFICYP Colin Stewart.
The President spoke to the media following the meeting that lasted one-and-a-half-hours, where he stated that the way to commencing new formal negotiations is for the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot People to be reaffirmed and acknowledged.
President Tatar said he informed Mr. Stewart in the meeting that he is open to dialogue and proposals that are for the benefit of the Turkish Cypriot People and the Greek Cypriot People.
“I explained that we, as the Turkish Cypriot Side, are at the same point as we were in April, 2021 when we put forward our proposals at the 5+UN informal meeting in Geneva, Switzerland,” the President stated. “Starting new formal negotiations is out of the question, without reaffirmation and acknowledgment of the inherent rights of the Turkish Cypriot People, namely our sovereign equality and equal international status,” he said.
President Tatar said he conveyed to Mr. Stewart that he supports the work of the bilateral technical committees. He said he also welcomed the recently held joint meeting between the two Sides with regards to cooperating on earthquake related issues, which was a cooperation proposal he had put forward following the devastating earthquakes that occurred in the Republic of Türkiye on February 6.
Stating that Mr. Stewart had given details about his recent contacts in Brussels and his similar meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader, President Tatar said:
“These types of meetings are held from time to time prior to them reporting on the situation in Cyprus to the UN Secretary-General and to the UN Security Council. We spoke about many different issues today.”
President Tatar said that the UN was probing the position of the two Sides and whether they could enter into a negotiations process following the elections being held in the region.
The President continued: “Our policy is the same as what we put forward in Geneva two years ago, which is fully supported by the Republic of Türkiye. This is a matter of sovereignty, which is necessary for the continuation of our presence in the island of Cyprus, for peace and security. It is out of the question to enter into any new formal negotiations until the inherent rights of the Turkish Cypriot People is reaffirmed and acknowledged -- namely our sovereign equality and equal international status. An agreement in Cyprus is possible when there is mutual respect that allows for the two equal Sides to co-exist side-by-side."
Tatar: “We have reiterated our strong objection to the EU being included in a negotiations process”
President Tatar also referred to the stipulations the Greek Cypriot leader made to Mr. Stewart during their meeting yesterday for an 'enhanced involvement' of the EU in the negotiations process.
“I have today reiterated our strong opposition to the involvement of the EU in any negotiations process,” the President said. “Mr. Stewart had also stated to the press yesterday that such a development cannot take place without the consent of all parties. We had faced similar pressures in Geneva two years ago.”
President Tatar explained that the “EU is not impartial with regards to the Cyprus issue, because Greece is a member state. . . the EU also allowed the Greek Cypriot Side to become a member of the bloc, which has since been continuing to be exploited against us. Therefore, we are strongly against the inclusion of the EU in any negotiations process”.
Maraş issue: “Anybody can benefit from seeking a domestic legal remedy which is in line with international law”
President Tatar added that the issue of Maraş had also been discussed during the meeting, adding that “more than one million people have crossed into Maraş” ever since it was opened two years ago.
“I explained to Mr. Stewart that Greek Cypriot people can make applications to our Immovable Property Commission (IPC) and seek an effective domestic legal remedy. Maraş has been closed for 47 years. The Greek Cypriot Side have rejected Maraş as they rejected all previous plans. We have taken steps to open the closed part of Maraş to civilian life.