Minister of Foreign Affairs Özdil Nami will meet with the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Füle in Strasbourg, tomorrow (23 October 2013). During his stay in Strasbourg, Foreign Minister Nami will bring issues such as the isolation imposed upon the Turkish Cypriot people and the improvement of the Green Line Regulation and Financial Aid Regulation forward.
Speaking during a program on Genç TV, Foreign Minister Nami stated that in his meeting with Füle, he would convey his views on the amendment of the context of the Green Line Regulation and extending the term of the Financial Aid Regulation as well as making it more efficient.
“We are demanding the improvement of both regulations which are currently in operation”, Nami said. In response to a question whether the EU would actively take part in the negotiation process, Nami said: “Turkish Cypriot side’s point of view on this issue is clear. The EU is already a party to the Cyprus issue and if it sits at the negotiation table, it is obvious whom it will support”.
Reminding Füle’s previous statements to the effect that the EU’s more active participation to the negotiation process could be possible if both sides demanded, Foreign Minister Nami underlined that the Turkish Cypriot side would not accept an enhanced role of the EU.
Evaluating the two side’s positions with regard to the joint text, Nami said there wasn’t any crisis on the content of the text, in fact the two sides were very close at the moment. Nami added that however, the Greek Cypriot side’s insistence on including its priorities into the text was making things more difficult.
Nami noted that although the Turkish Cypriot side did not intend to speak on this issue for a long time, they felt obliged to issue a statement following the statements of the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiadis.
If we say that this issue could end in the forthcoming months, it means we believe in this and work for it”, said Nami , stressing that demonstrating the Turkish Cypriot side’s will towards a solution was also important. Nami also said: “If this problem cannot be solved once again despite the Turkish Cypriot side’s will, then we should not be punished. Therefore, the international community should take more concrete steps in order to prevent its repetition.
“If the process fails again, we should explain that this is not because of the Turkish Cypriot side, so that we can have an opportunity for our demands and steps in the forthcoming period afterwards”.
Pointing out that he drew parallelism between the issue of natural gas and the EU perspective, Foreign Minister Nami said: “If everyone had done their part early enough, then we wouldn’t have experienced these problems today” and made a referrence to the Copenhagen process where the opportunity for making the Greek Cypriot side’s EU membership a condition for a solution had been missed. Nami added that if the international community declares that the natural gas revenues can be used only after a solution, then it would have an important contribution for a solution, otherwise Greek Cypriot side would be unwilling towards a solution.