Minister of Foreign Affairs Özdil Nami evaluated his contacts in New York last week to the press.

Speaking to Turkish Cypriot daily Yenidüzen, Foreign Minister Nami stated that they had fruitful contacts during The New York Summit in terms of the solution of the Cyprus problem and added that: “Two sides are working on a joint text under the supervision of the United Nations for the resumption of the negotiations”.

Pointing out that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was insistent on the resumption of the negotiations without further delay, Foreign Minister Nami said: “There are divergences between the two sides on how the negotiations will be resumed. In order to eliminate these divergences and prepare a joint text on this issue, works have been started under the supervision of the UN”.

Foreign Minister Nami added that the special representatives of the two sides had already started to work on a ‘joint text’ which they were aiming to complete by next week when the UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor Alexander Downer would visit the island. Noting that the joint text would be announced by the two leaders, Özdil Nami underlined that there was an agreement on the resumption of the negotiations in October.

Referring to the divergences on how the negotiations would be resumed, Foreign Minister Nami said:

“Greek Cypriot side wants to take up the issues within the solution process together. It avoids giving a clear commitment with regard to the convergences reached until today. Greek Cypriot side is also against putting a certain time-frame for the negotiations and solution. On the other hand, the Turkish Cypriot side gives a clear commitment on the convergences reached to date. Furthermore, we are in favor of reaching an agreement on the existing convergences at first and then bringing all the issues to the table”.

Drawing attention to the fact that all political circles they met in New York were in favor of the resumption of the negotiations in October, Nami said these circles were also against open-ended negotiation process and insistently emphasized that there should be a time-frame in the negotiations.

Referring to the recent understanding of the UN to the effect that ‘it would be the last initiative for a final settlement’, Özdil Nami said: “We are entering into such a phase that somebody would pay for the lack of a solution. In other words, an open-ended negotiation process was out of question. Whoever prevents a solution would bear the consequences”.

“Leakage to the press of the Greek Cypriot leader’s letter sent to the UN Secretary General has created a serious discomfort”, said Nami, stressing that they also observed that there was dissatisfaction with regard to the content of the letter.

Explaining that particularly the request to include the EU in the negotiation process in Cyprus was not welcomed, Foreign Minister said also the issue of Maraş (Varosha), which the Greek Cypriot side made a big deal about, was not brought to the agenda in New York.

“The aim is the resumption of the negotiations in October and reaching a solution until 2014 spring”, said Foreign Minister Nami, noting that the United Nations requested all the related parties to focus on this aim. Nami added that during his contacts in New York, they once more saw that Turkey was very willing and determined on the solution of the Cyprus problem.

Also speaking to Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis, Foreign Minister Nami pointed out that the UN considered the next six-month period as a window of opportunity and would work intensively towards solving the Cyprus problem.

Stating that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was continuing to show a close interest to Cyprus, Foreign Minister Nami said the Secretary General also conveyed his request for the two sides to overcome the difficulties for the resumption of the negotiations during the visit of Alexander Downer to the island.

Referring to the Secretary General’s expression that: “I cannot desire a solution more than Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. The responsibility  belongs to Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots”, Nami said this meant that it was the two peoples in the island who would solve the Cyprus problem.

In response to a question asked if a multi-lateral conference or a Burgenstock style summit were being considered, Foreign Minister Nami said current agenda was the resumption of the negotiations.

Foreign Minister Nami also stated that on the table, there was a new method of negotiations, envisaging less frequent meetings between the leaders and more between the special representatives.