Foreign Minister Özdil Nami, who paid a visit to Iran to participate to the 21st Council of Ministers Meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), attended to the reception given in his honor by the Turkish Ambassador to Tehran Ümit Yardım.

Evaluating TRNC’s observer status to the Anatolian Agency, Nami said it was pleasing for the TRNC to be included in the Council of Ministers Meeting of  ECO with an observer status.

Stating that TRNC’s accession process was agreed during  the last meeting held in Azerbaijan, as a result of  the  efforts of the  Turkish Foreign Ministry and in particular the Turkish Foreign Minister  Ahmet Davutoğlu’s  personal attempts, Nami thanked to Turkey.

Emphasizing that the TRNC has been unjustly isolated and has difficulties in communicating with the international community Nami said “This observer status is a big opportunity for us and we are determined to use this right more effectively in the upcoming periods”.

Regarding the  political gains by  taking place  in the  ECO Nami said:

“Under the name of Cyprus  Turkish State, we took  steps  forward  at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Achieving an observer status in ECO is an important step in this direction. Certainly, we attach importance to the economic aspects of  this event, however, from political point of view  we are faced with a problem  that had started in  March 1964  and  will complete its 50th year in March 2014. Currently, a negotiation process  is continuing in Cyprus under the auspices of the United Nations Good Offices Mission.  We once more   reiterate   to all friendly and brother  states  that there is no meaning and reason to keep the Turkish Cypriot people under embargoes when the negotiation process is continuing”.

Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot side had been allowed to join the EU despite the non-solution of the Cyprus issue; Nami asked why the brother countries could not accept the TRNC as full members to  their institutions. “We have to increase our economic, social and cultural relations. Our hope is to reach a federal solution in  the island soon and to put an end to the 50 years old Cyprus issue” Nami added.

Stressing that the next target was to become a full member of  ECO Nami said “I hope this will be realized in the next meetings”.

Pointing that  there  exist  TRNC Representative Offices  in 21 counties, Nami said “However, we do not have a representative office in Tehran, yet. I hope opening a new door in this respect would contribute to increasing our relations”.

Foreign Minister Özdil Nami participated to the 21st Council of Ministers meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), where the TRNC was recently granted an observer state status. The meeting was held in Tehran, capital city of Iran.

Finding the opportunity to exchange views with the officials  who attended to the meeting, Nami met with Secretary General of ECO Şamil Aleskerov and Advisor of  the  Prime Minister of Pakistan Sertaç Aziz. Nami also found the  opportunity to have a conversation with Foreign Minister of Iran Muhammed Cevad Zarif and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.

Holding a tete-a-tete meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran Ibrahim Rahim, Nami also came together with Iranian students graduated from the TRNC universities at the Turkish Embassy in Tehran.

Nami also delivered  a speech at the 21st Council of Ministers Meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).

Özdil Nami, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,  made  the opening  statement at The Conference on Water and Food Security in The Organization of Islamic Cooperation  Member Countries on 22 November.

The full text is as follows,

Mr. Secretary General, Your Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with great honor and pleasure that I extend our sincere welcome to all distinguished guests and participants to the conference on Water and Food Security in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Member Countries, which is jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank. It is a great privilege for us to host such an important event here in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

At the outset, I wish to extend our deep gratitude to his Excellency    Prof. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, for his personal support accorded to the Turkish Cypriot people in their rightful struggle. I also would like to extend our deep appreciation to his Excellency Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani, the President of the Islamic Development Bank for his generous contributions to organize this conference.

I also would like to thank the honorable ministers and all the delegates from member states, the honorable representatives of various OIC agencies as well as all the esteemed representatives of other institutions and guests for their participation in this important event.

I hope and believe that the conference will significantly contribute to increasing awareness about the problems and solutions on water and food security throughout the Muslim world and will further strengthen the solidarity and cooperation between the Turkish Cypriot people and the peoples of the brotherly member states of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation.

Many countries all around the world are suffering from water shortage and its devastating consequences due to global climatic changes. Regrettably, some of the OIC member countries are worst affected by this phenomenon and the subsequent food-related problems that stem from lack of sufficient amount of water.

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is one of the most affected countries which are short of surface water and ground water due to inadequate rainfall. At this point, I would like to proudly express that “The Northern Cyprus Water Supply Project” which is a unique international water diversion project designed to supply water for drinking and irrigation from Southern Turkey to Northern Cyprus via pipelines under the Mediterranean Sea is underway and the project is expected to be completed in March, 2014. The Northern Cyprus water supply project is not only a solution to the water problem of Turkish Cypriot people, but the project may also pave the way for further cooperation with the Greek Cypriot side which also suffer from water shortage problems.

Distinguished guests,

Let me now briefly inform you about the recent situation regarding the Cyprus negotiations. As all the distinguished delegates are well aware, the Turkish Cypriot side`s positive and constructive approach in the process has not been so far reciprocated by the Greek Cypriot side. Our “yes” vote to the UN plan to unite Cyprus in 2004 met with the “no” vote of Greek Cypriots.

It has become clear that the Greek Cypriot side is playing for time in order to take further advantage of its international recognition and unilateral European Union membership even during the efforts of preparing a joint statement which would simply underline the basic parameters of a comprehensive settlement before the resumption of the talks. Regrettably, the joint statement could not have been finalized for almost two months.

Distinguished delegates,

At this juncture, the Turkish Cypriot side is expecting the United Nations to make a fair and objective evaluation as to why the Cyprus issue has not been resolved during the past fifty years. Turkish Cypriots cannot be forced to wait forever in isolation from the rest of the world. Negotiations cannot be an open-ended process as this will only serve to perpetuate the Greek Cypriot usurpation of the title of the “Government of the Republic of Cyprus” while continuing to keep the Turkish Cypriots under unjust embargoes.

The Turkish Cypriot side desires an early settlement to the Cyprus problem and the talks should be carried out in a time-framed manner and with the active involvement of the UN in the process. This is the only way to achieve a settlement without any further delay. Therefore, we are expecting the resumption of the negotiations immediately with the ultimate target of reaching a just and lasting settlement.

In this respect, we strongly believe that the negotiations should continue based on agreements reached so far, building on them and where necessary improving these convergences with mutual consent. Once this is achieved, we can have a new federal republic in Cyprus that is a member of the EU and safeguards bi-zonal, bi-communal nature of the federation.

Mr. Secretary General,

We are very grateful to the esteemed members of the OIC for their unequivocal support extended to the just cause of the Turkish Cypriot people through successive OIC resolutions and declarations. These resolutions and declarations call upon member states to strengthen effective solidarity with the Turkish Cypriots and to take concrete steps to end the unjust and inhuman isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriots. Moreover, the relevant resolutions and declarations also call upon all member states to further develop bilateral relations with the Turkish Cypriots in all fields such as direct transport, trade, tourism, culture, education, sports and to exchange high-level visits with the Turkish Cypriot side.

Therefore, in the absence of a comprehensive settlement in the island, we are expecting all the member countries to take concrete steps towards ending the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people. Needless to say, this will also encourage the Greek Cypriot side towards reaching a comprehensive settlement.

Before I conclude, I would like to reiterate our profound gratitude to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, its institutions for their valuable support and to express, once more, our strong belief that this conference will further strengthen the solidarity and cooperation between the Turkish Cypriot people and the peoples of the brotherly OIC member states.

Last but not the least; I would like to extend once again, our deepest thanks to H.E. Prof. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu for his support to the just cause of the Turkish Cypriot people and for his invaluable contributions to the Islamic Ummah during his term as the secretary general of the OIC. However, we are all very much saddened that the Secretary General will soon be leaving the office and would like to wish him all the health, happiness and success in his future endeavors. We will always remember Prof. Ihsanoğlu’s great contribution to the OIC and his tireless efforts to further develop cooperation among the OIC member states.

I thank you for your most kind attention and wish all of you every success during the deliberations of this important conference.

A cooperation protocol was signed between the TRNC Foreign Ministry and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Minister of Foreign Affairs Özdil Nami and the Secretary General of the OIC Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu signed a protocol envisaging cooperation in various fields such as education, environment and health.

Speaking following the signature ceremony, which took place at the Foreign Ministry, Foreign Minister Nami stressed that this was the first official protocol signed with the OIC. Nami expressed pleasure that the studies continuing for a long time were crowned with this protocol.

Reiterating that studies have been continuing for a long time with the aim of realizing this important cooperation, Foreign Minister Nami thanked the former Foreign Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün for his initiatives in this respect.

Emphasizing the importance of the relations between the Turkish Cypriot people and the Islamic world in terms of making the rightful voice of the Turkish Cypriot people heard by the whole world, Nami said the foundations laid within the framework of cooperation would be towards increasing the prosperity of the people.

For his part, the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu reiterating that the studies which have been continuing for a long time were crowned with this protocol added that the existing ties between the OIC and the TRNC would be further strengthened.

Underlining that the OIC would continue to support the Turkish Cypriot people’s rightful struggle, İhsanoğlu said the international community was applying double standard. İhsanoğlu stressed that they would continue to be by the side of Turkish Cypriots.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Özdil Nami will attend the 21st Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) where the TRNC is an observer member.

 

Foreign Minister Nami left the island today (25 November) to attend the ECO meeting, which will be held between 24-26 November in Tehran, capital of Iran.

 

In Tehran, Nami will also hold contacts with the authorities of the member countries of ECO.

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hilmi Akil delivered a speech on behalf of Foreign Minister Özdil Nami at the “3rd World Cyprus Turks Congress” yesterday.

Hilmi Akil said they were hoping the negotiations to resume and stressed that it was very important to make heard  the voice of all Turkish Cypriots both living in the TRNC and abroad.

Emphasizing that the Turkish Cypriot side’s primary goal was to reach a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal settlement on the basis of political equality and the UN parameters, Akil said respecting the convergences that have been achieved so far between the two sides was vital.

Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot side did not confirm to stick to the convergences achieved until today, Akil said at this point, the UN should confirm these convergences and encourage the Greek Cypriot side to sit at the negotiation table.

Akil also stated that the Greek Cypriot side’s attempt to use the joint statement text as a precondition for the resumption of the negotiations was an example of its unwilling stance with regard to the negotiations.

Referring to the recent meeting between Foreign Minister Nami and EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule, Akil reminded Füle’s statement to the effect that the EU would not get involved in the negotiation process unless the two sides jointly demand.

Akil expressing the Turkish Cypriot side’s belief said, it was necessary to focus on the remaining divergences with discipline, political will and intensive efforts and  prepare a new comprehensive settlement plan until the end of the year,  so that a simultaneous referenda could be held in March 2014. Akil also added that if a solution could not be found to the Cyprus problem, joint studies with Turkey should be intensified with the aim of lifting the restrictions imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Özdil Nami is continuing to inform the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the latest developments with regard to the Cyprus problem.

Third meeting was held yesterday (21 November 2013) at the Foreign Ministry with the participation of the Turkish Cypriot Medical Doctors Trade Union (Tıp-İş), Health and Social Service Servants Trade Union (Sağlık-Sen), Turkish Cypriot Press Workers Trade Union (Basın-Sen), Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Academic Personnel Union (DAÜ-SEN), Public Employees’ Union (Çağ-Sen) and EMU Unity and Solidarity Trade Union (DAÜ-BİR-SEN).

Speaking at the beginning of the meeting, Foreign Minister Nami stated that the meetings which started with the NGOs on the Cyprus issue with the aim of giving information on the latest phase reached and exchanging views,  were continuing.

For their part, the representatives of the NGOs thanked Özdil Nami for holding these informative meetings and enabling them to convey their views on the Cyprus issue.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Özdil Nami is continuing to hold meetings to inform the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the latest developments with regard to the Cyprus problem.

Third meeting will be held today at 14:00pm at the Foreign Ministry with the participation of the Turkish Cypriot Medical Doctors Trade Union (Tıp-İş), Health and Social Service Servants Trade Union (Sağlık-Sen), Turkish Cypriot Press Workers Trade Union (Basın-Sen), Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Academic Personnel Union (DAÜ-SEN), Public Employees’ Union (Çağ-Sen) and EMU Unity and Solidarity Trade Union (DAÜ-BİR-SEN).

Foreign Minister Nami received Cyprus Turkish Office, Bank, Insurance and Commerce Employees Union (BASS) yesterday (19 November 2013).

Speaking at the beginning of the meeting, Foreign Minister Nami said his government attached great importance to the relations with the NGOs and trade unions.

Stating that they have initiated studies with the aim of developing the relations with the NGOs and trade unions, Nami said he would exchange views with BASS officials both on the Cyprus issue and the governmental actions.

Chairman of the Cyprus Turkish Journalists Union (CTJU) Hüseyin Güven and some members of the board visited Minister of Foreign Affairs Özdil Nami yesterday (19 November 2013) with the aim of exchanging views on the foreign relations and the issues which could be cooperated with the Foreign Ministry.

Speaking during the meeting, Foreign Minister Nami drew attention to the responsibility of the press to inform the public on each phase of the Cyprus problem and stated that it was also the Ministry’s responsibility to contribute to the press while performing this duty.

Pointing out that the important role of the press with regard to the solution of the Cyprus problem was also included in the UN reports, Foreign Minister Nami said sometimes the press was purposely publishing news that did not reflect the exact reality. Nami emphasized the importance of receiving news from the right source. Continuing Nami said:

“We observe that news, which does not reflect the exact reality appears especially in the Greek Cypriot press and sometimes, we see that these are made consciously. It is highly important for our press to get news from the right source”.

Thanking the efforts of the Union for establishing a healthy dialogue with the Foreign Ministry, Nami said they were ready to give every kind of support in this respect.

Nami stressing that both the Foreign Ministry and the Presidency have important duties on informing the press said,  similarly the press also has very significant duties on reflecting the developments in the negotiations and the position of the TRNC to the foreign press. Nami underlined that for this purpose it was necessary to act in cooperation.

Reminding that the Foreign Ministry have two departments namely the Public Relations Department and Public Information Office, which were working closely with the press, Nami said they have recently started a study in order to restructure these departments so as to provide more efficient service to the press.