Foreign Minister Ertuğruloğlu continues to hold working meetings with government officials during his US trip, which continues this week in Washington DC. Meeting with members of the US Congress yesterday, Ertuğruloğlu discussed recent developments on the Cyprus issue. He also attended a roundtable discussion at the International Republican Institute (IRI).

Discussing the latest developments in Cyprus following the Crans-Montana talks with Turkish Cypriot and Turkish citizens living in Washington, the Foreign Minister stressed that the United Nations needed to change the parameters of negotiations in Cyprus. He encouraged his audience to continue striving to give the Turkish Cypriot people a voice in America and to remain persistent in their lobbying activities.

The new process in Cyprus should be based on equality between both states, Ertuğruloğlu said, adding that the international community should not ignore the fact that the Turkish Cypriot people were equal partners in the 1960 Republic of Cyprus.

Ertuğruloğlu also stressed that the Turkish Cypriot people no long have faith in the process that has run unsuccessfully for so many years.

“We are not closing the doors on the negotiations,” Ertuğruloğlu said. “However, the negotiations are not our only option – there are many options for the future.”

Mentioning that the Turkish Cypriot people have been suffering under embargoes for many years, losing 50 years after being held hostage at the negotiating table, Ertuğruloğlu continued:

“The negotiating process in Cyprus cannot continue like this. The Turkish Cypriot people are still waiting for support from the international community to remove these embargoes. It is unlikely that this process, which follows the framework provided by the UN Good Offices Mission, will be successful because it is not based on equality. Both the conference and the negotiations in Crans-Montana have collapsed. We cannot afford to continue like this once the Greek Cypriot presidential elections have passed. “