European Affairs Ministers of the Southern European Union member states (Med7) have issued a joint statement at the conclusion of their meeting in Athens on 11 June 2021. The references to Cyprus issue contained within the said statement do not reflect the political or legal realities on the Island, thus demonstrating once again that the said EU countries will not be able to uphold impartiality in this regard.

The Greek Cypriot side has disrupted all past federal settlement processes to failure, with a view to perpetuating the status quo that emerged following the destruction of the 1960 “Partnership Republic” through force of arms by the Greek Cypriots. Negotiations to reach a federal settlement, which has been rejected by the Greek Cypriot side at every opportunity, have hence been exhausted. The insistence on a federal settlement by the EU countries which signed the said statement is incompatible with current realities and tantamount to openly supporting the status quo, creating a comfort zone for the Greek Cypriot side.

In line with the call of the United Nations Secretary General, the Turkish Cypriot Side has registered its “outside the box” and creative ideas at the 5+UN informal meeting, which reflect the realities on the Island and has displayed its readiness to negotiate a cooperative relationship on the basis of the sovereign equality and equal international status of the two States.

As the co-owner of the Island and its natural resources, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has made constructive proposals to establish cooperation for a win-win approach in the Eastern Mediterranean. These proposals are still on the table. However, the Greek Cypriot side persists in its provocative actions which prevent stability and prosperity in the region, continuing to ignore the legitimate rights and interests of the TRNC and Republic of Turkey. Unfortunately, by endorsing the aforementioned statement, the said EU countries are encouraging the maximalist approach of the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus.

We wish to reiterate that the closed area of Maraş, which has become a symbol of the status quo on the Island, is part of the TRNC territory. Our initiative regarding the closed area of Maraş will continue within the framework of international law.

Our State, along with Motherland Turkey, will protect and defend our national cause and our legitimate rights and interests in the Eastern Mediterranean. Following acknowledgement of the fact that there exist two sovereign equal States, the Turkish Cypriot side is ready to participate constructively in possible negotiations on the new basis, towards establishing a cooperative relationship.