Minister of Foreign Affairs Özdil Nami underlined that the basis for a federal solution in Cyprus was clearly expressed in the related UN Security Council resolutions and that it could not be shifted out of the framework drawn by the Annan plan.

Foreign Minister Nami received a delegation from the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce (CTCC) on Friday (29 November). Speaking during the meeting, Foreign Minister Nami stated that the negotiations at leaders’ level could not yet be realized because of the Greek Cypriot side’s insistence on the issue of joint statement text.

“The studies on this joint statement text took longer than expected. The efforts have been continuing for more than two months in order to reach conciliation on a single-sheet. It’s time for this to be finalized”, Nami said.

Reiterating that the basis for a federal solution in Cyprus was clearly expressed in the related UN Security Council resolutions, Nami said it was not possible for any of the sides to act against this. Foreign Minister Nami noted that a joint statement text to come forward should remain loyal to this.

Continuing, Foreign Minister Nami said:

“Actually, what should be expressed in this joint statement text is clear. Certainly, none of the sides can drag the basis out of the framework determined by the Annan plan, which was approved by majority of the Turkish Cypriot people”.

Explaining that the federal structure to be established would have a single international identity and the sovereignty would equally arise from the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, Nami said besides the federal government, in this structure, there would be two founding states namely the Turkish Cypriot state and the Greek Cypriot state having equal status.

Nami also underlined that the settlement framework clearly defined in 23 May 2008 and 1 July 2008 agreements was also included in the related UN Security Council Resolutions. Stating that besides these agreements, the convergences reached during the negotiation process would be maintained and improved and the remaining divergences would be focused on, Nami said these were the facts that should be included in a joint statement text.

Foreign Minister Nami noted that in a possible federal solution the EU principles and norms would be valid throughout the island, but bi-communality and bi-zonality would be preserved.

Continuing Nami said:

“A joint statement text expressing that these principles would be respected, should be enough and this issue should be brought to an end as soon as possible. A federal solution, which is necessary for both peoples, should definitely be achieved. This is important both for the island and the region”.

Pointing out that the Republic of Turkey was giving a full support on this issue; Nami said the Cyprus problem should be solved without further delay. He added that: “We have reached the final phase on the project of bringing water from Turkey. Perhaps, electricity will also come from Turkey in the near future. Why not turn these into peace projects and contribute to overcome the economic problems faced by both sides of the island”.

Foreign Minister Nami pointed out that besides Islamic countries the Foreign Ministry was also carrying out studies in support of the works of the NGOs for developing economic relations with other countries.

Pointing out that he recently attended the 21st Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), where the Turkish Cypriot side was received at a very high level, Nami said there are important potentials for the TRNC economy under the umbrella of Islamic Development Organization and Islamic Cooperation Organization.

Nami said: “This potential is not only limited to the education sector. There are import-export opportunities in many fields, primarily in the food sector. We started the necessary initiatives with the counties we established contact to send us their high-level officials. I don’t have any doubt that these initiatives would bear fruit in the future”.

Stating that they have started regular meetings with the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) due to the importance given to information sharing and coordination Nami said, this should become a norm and there should be more permanent and intensive information exchange between the government and the NGOs.

Nami stated that the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce (CTCC), whose activities were closely followed by the Ministry, has longstanding corporate relations with the EU.  Nami added that the CTCC, which is closely related with many aspects of both the Green Line Regulation and Financial Aid Regulation, played a vital role in the efforts to improve and expand the scope of the Green Line Regulation.

Nami praised the CTCC for doing its part for supporting activities in this respect.

The chairman of the CTCC, Günay Çerkez said they visited the Foreign Ministry to give information about their activities which the Ministry closely follows and to learn about the latest developments on the Cyprus negotiation process.

Çerkez stated that between 12-15 November 2013, a delegation from the Chamber paid a visit to Brussels and held meetings with many EU officials, in particular with Stephan Füle the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy.

Pointing out that in the last one and a half years the CTCC has taken important initiatives in Islamic countries, Çerkez said they held close contacts especially with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Çerkez added that within the framework of the cooperation with the Islamic countries, a conference was held in the TRNC, last week.

Pointing out that the Cyprus issue is passing through an important phase, Çerkez said they closely follow the initiatives taken towards finding a final solution to the Cyprus problem.