Minister of Foreign Affairs Özdil Nami stated that starting the negotiations in October and holding a referendum in March was a realistic aim. He added that: “If both sides vote “yes” in the referendum, the problem will fall off the UN’s agenda after 50 years. In this way, we will give a very meaningful message to the international community”.
Foreign Minister Nami evaluated his contacts in New York to the Anatolian News Agency (AA). Pointing out that the position of the Turkish Cypriot side was clearly conveyed to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York, Nami said the Secretary General considered the Turkish Cypriot side’s views as positive. Foreign Minister Nami added that parallel to the position of the Turkish Cypriot side, the United Nations expressing the need for the resumption of the negotiations by taking into consideration the convergences reached until today noted that the two sides should work intensively for reaching a conclusion in a short time.
Stressing that the Turkish Cypriot side would continue to put forward its will towards a solution also in the new period, Nami said: “If this process fails or do not produce the expected result, we would have demands from the international community. We will say that we have done our utmost and now it’s time for our political status to be defined. Restrictions preventing our integration with the world should definitely be removed. Of course, we will continue our studies with the support of the Republic of Turkey”.
Drawing attention to the fact that there wasn’t such thing as confederation on the Turkish Cypriot side’s agenda; Foreign Minister explained confederation as a structure formed with a cooperation agreement between two separate states.
Continuing, Nami said: “What should be done in Cyprus, is to establish a new state of affairs with a federal government based on the equal status of the two founding states, having no hierarchy between them, just like in the Annan plan. We are talking about a federal republic as defined in the Annan plan and we know that this federal republic will be formed as a result of the two peoples’ “yes vote” in separate referenda on both sides”.
Reiterating that what should be done currently was to maintain the convergences reached till today and focus on eliminating the remaining divergences, Foreign Minister Nami said, the new comprehensive settlement plan should be submitted to separate referenda on both sides.
Referring to the issue of Maraş (Varosha), Özdil Nami said Maraş was a territory issue and “Territory” was one of the main topics of the comprehensive settlement therefore, it could be taken up only within the comprehensive settlement negotiations.
“Naturally, as it was in the Annan plan, there will be a territorial adjustment within a comprehensive settlement”, said Nami and added:
“We are in full harmony and cooperation with Turkey in the Cyprus negotiation process. As a matter of fact, since the period of the Annan plan, the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey have shared the same views on the solution of the Cyprus problem.
As the Turkish Cypriots it’s difficult for us to make our just cause heard and acknowledged by the international community. Harmony between the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey is important. I can say that we are at an ideal point in this respect. Turkey is clearly underlining that it would support any solution accepted by the Turkish Cypriots. There is a full understanding and cooperation between us”.
Noting that for the first time, the Greek Cypriot side would hold a meeting in Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side in Greece at the Foreign Ministers level, Nami said they considered this as a positive step and stressed that this issue has been discussed by the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaderships for a long time.
Stating that Turkey put forth a clear position on Cyprus issue, Nami continued :
“The Greek Cypriot’s collocutor is Turkish Cypriots, not Turkey. If they go to Ankara with a different perception, they will be disappointed. Turkey will not open a separate negotiation line with them. If they have some problems, they will ask and bring these to the agenda and will have their clear replies. Our main purpose here is to establish confidence between the two sides. The Greek Cypriot side has very misleading perceptions about Turkey to the effect that we agree on some points of convergences but Turkey do not. The situation is not like that. We clearly express this to them but they want to hear directly from the Turkish officials. This isn’t a problem. We also have some questions to ask Greece, our representative will go there and receive the answers. These meetings will take place. However, they are not a milestone for negotiations, they are symbol of good will. The main negotiations will be carried out between the two sides’ leaderships on the island ”.