Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay gave a speech at King’s College in London on 29 January 2020. A group of Greek and Greek Cypriot students staged a protest in front of the building.
Özersay thanked the Turkish Cypriot community representatives and organisers for not cancelling the event and said “We will continue to make the Turkish Cypriots voice heard at each possible platform”.
During his speech at King’s College in London, Özersay said that the present conditions should be changed to reach a federal partnership in Cyprus and the international community should take the necessary steps for change of these conditions. Adding that if some concrete steps are not taken and the present conditions do not change, a federal partnership will not be possible, Özersay said that the Greek Cypriot side should agree to share the wealth and steps should be taken on the issues to build confidence between the two sides otherwise continuing the same negotiations for another 50 years will only serve to the status quo.
Furthermore, in his speech, Özersay gave examples in detail about the cooperation which has been achieved between the sides on the issues of finding missing persons and returning them to their families, restoration of mosques and churches in both sides of the island within the context of cultural heritage, and mutual return of criminals, and added that these are the examples of cooperation which both sides can make before a solution without recognising each other and without changing the status of each other.
Özersay also said that cooperation in the field of tourism will be for the benefit of both sides and the number of tourists can rise and the costs can be reduced as a result. Özersay also pointed out the regional cooperation examples. Expressing that there are three basic factors in this respect, Özersay said that the first of these factors is the will and desire of the sides to cooperate. The second is to have an issue to cooperate and the third is obligation for pragmatic attitude.
Stressing that especially cooperation can be made before a solution on the issue of natural gas, Özersay said that the only problem is the Greek Cypriot side being unwilling to create cooperation on the issue. Pointing out that international actors should take the necessary steps as soon as possible to persuade the Greek Cypriot side to cooperate with the Turkish Cypriot side, Özersay said that if conditions are imposed for the Greek Cypriots to receive the approval of the Turkish Cypriot side to put these natural resources on the world market, this will open ways for cooperation on the natural gas issue.