Minister of Foreign Affairs Özdil Nami stated that the main obstacle preventing the solution of the Cyprus problem was the European Union. Nami added that Germany and France were using the Greek Cypriot side in order to keep Turkey away from the EU. Stating that he was hopeful towards the solution of the Cyprus problem, Nami said the Turkish Cypriot side was ready to pay a price for this.
Responding to the questions of Murat Aksoy, a columnist from Turkish daily Yenişafak, Foreign Minister Nami pointed out that solution was needed by both sides and progress was achieved in the studies carried out for the preparation of the joint statement text. Noting that a political will was necessary, Nami said currently there was a reconciliation between the two sides on almost whole of the two main negotiation chapters (EU affairs and economy) out of six and that important convergence was also achieved on the third chapter namely, the governance and power sharing.
Explaining that fourth chapter was the property, fifth was territory and the last one was security and guarantees, Foreign Minister Nami said: “The immovable Property Commission we have established to deal with the property issues is working efficiently and contributing to a solution. Regarding the issue of territory, Turkish Cypriot side proved that it was ready to make a territorial concession by voting “yes” to the Annan plan in 2004. Naturally, the investments made within the 10 years period, since the Greek Cypriot side’s rejection of the plan, have decreased the percentage of territorial adjustment. As long as the comprehensive solution delays, further decrease in this percentage will be inevitable.
Emphasizing that the issue of security and guarantees was directly related with the guarantor countries, besides the two sides in Cyprus, Nami said: “This issue shall be taken up at the final phase with a multilateral conference, after settling other issues, and with the contribution of all related parties the 1960 guarantee system shall be adopted to the new federal structure to be formed, as envisaged in the Annan plan. This is not an issue to be negotiated for months”.
In response to a question whether the EU desired a solution in Cyprus or not, Foreign Minister Nami said:
“The EU should first of all pave the way for Turkey’s membership negotiation process in order to display such a will. Unfortunately, Germany and France don’t have this will. This is a pragmatic situation for the EU. Actually, by backing the Greek Cypriots, the EU is consciously blocking Turkey’s EU membership process. In other words, the countries like Germany and France are using the Greek Cypriots in order to keep Turkey away from the EU. Therefore, deadlock in the negotiations serves their purpose. Germany and France are pursuing their policies against Turkey over the Greek Cypriots.
In return, the Greek Cypriots are also using them. As a result, we are telling Greek Cypriots that it is not in their interest to serve the interests of those who want to prevent Turkey’s EU membership. Their interest is to act in harmony with us and unite Cyprus and spread economic welfare to the whole island. I hope we succeed in this respect”.
Stating that the United Nations was currently spending a final effort for a solution, Nami said all the related parties should consider this seriously. Nami added that if this process could not be finalized with the formation of a federal structure, all the related parties, in particular the UN, would need to reevaluate the situation.