Volkan Bozkır, the Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator of the Republic of Turkey, has met with Foreign Minister Özdil Nami within the framework of his contacts in the TRNC.
In the statement made during his visit, Bozkır expressed his wish to share Turkey’s experiences throughout its EU process, as well as to discuss opportunities that the TRNC can use at the EU Commission, Council and Parliament.
Bozkır mentioned that the Greek Cypriot Administration of South Cyprus is using its EU membership to place impediments in front of Turkey throughout its EU membership process, and stated that “Turkey has not made a single concession on this matter for the past 8 years. After this point, Turkey will not accept the transferal of factors related to the resolution of the Cyprus problem to Turkey’s EU membership process. These factors should undoubtedly be used for the resolution of the Cyprus problem, not for the opening of chapters.”
Minister Bozkır recalled that Turkey will be hosting EU officials in the upcoming week and stated that he will bring the hellim issue to the agenda of the meetings, and that he will display efforts to establish more contact between the newly established EU Commission and Turkish Cypriot officials.
Bozkır also drew attention to the significance of concluding the drinking water project between Turkey and Northern Cyprus and using the project as a strategic element.
Bozkır added that prior to the visit of the Prime Minister of Turkey to Greece; the common standpoint of our two countries will be reevaluated along with Foreign Minister Özdil Nami.
Minister Nami underlined that the EU itself is a peace project which has a global impact. Minister Nami also stated that Turkey’s EU membership process is a very important element which can contribute to this project; therefore, such a peace project should never be allowed to turn into a weapon. “Unfortunately, our Greek Cypriot counterparts continue to use their EU membership as leverage against us instead of taking the opportunity to benefit from the EU towards reaching a comprehensive settlement on the Island”, Nami added.
Foreign Minister Nami stated that “our role on this matter is to remind the Greek Cypriot side that their strategy is wrong and a peace project ought to be used for purposes of peace”. He also added that “we have exercises urging the EU to contribute on this matter”.
Minister Nami said that they were to discuss both bilateral relations with the EU, the current stage of the Cyprus negotiations, and the issues of strategies to follow in respect of natural gas with Minister Bozkır.
Following the meeting at the Foreign Ministry, both Ministers together with their delegations continued their meeting during a working lunch.
Minister Nami and Minister Bozkır enjoyed a city tour of Lefkoşa following their meeting and made observations at the Lokmacı Crossing point.