UN SECURITY COUNCIL ENHANCED THE EMPHASIS ON COOPERATION
With the Resolution it has adopted, UN Security Council today has displayed a strong will regarding the development of cooperation between the two sides on the island, despite all efforts by the Greek Cypriot leadership to the contrary.
As a result of the the effective and proactive diplomacy carried out by our Ministry, call for cooperation among the sides, which has been present in all reports and resolutions since January 2019, has been further expanded to include economic and trade matters as areas of cooperation.
Given the current circumstances and the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean region, economic and trade cooperation to be established on the basis of the principle of interdependence, will benefit both sides, increase trust between the two Peoples and contribute to the stability of the region. We would like to state that the Turkish Cypriot side is ready to explore ideas and work on steps in order translate this call into action.
UN Secretary-General’s report and the resolution of the UN Security Council call for cooperation mechanisms to be established on civilian, military, criminal and environmental protection matters concerning the entire island. In the UN Secretary General’s report, also endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution, it is reiterated, once again, that the political considerations such as recognition/non-recognition should not constitute an obstacle to the implementation of such cooperation.
In their latest three reports and resolutions, the Secretary General and the Security Council, displaying, respectively, a strong determination, underline the fact that the unacceptable status quo prevailing for over 50 years can only be changed through direct, effective communication and cooperation between the two sides.
ALLEVIATING THE TENSION DEPENDS ON DIPLOMACY AND COOPERATION
The UN Security Council calling, in its resolution, on the two sides and relevant parties to refrain from unilateral activities concerning the hydrocarbon resources around the island that cause tension, is essentially pointing out the need for cooperation between the two sides on this matter. In this connection, the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposal dated July 2019, is fully in line with the call in question and still on the table.
Underlining the fact that the hydrocarbon resources around the island belong to both sides, as acknowledged by the international community, we would like to stress that it is imperative to alleviate the tension stemming from the unilateral and provocative actions of the Greek Cypriot leadership vis-à-vis the hydrocarbon resources and that that it cannot await a negotiated settlement.
If the international community is sincere in resolving this issue, it should encourage the Greek Cypriot side to come to the table as soon as possible for diplomacy and cooperation.
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BY THE GREEK CYPRIOT SIDE HAVE BEEN DISGUISED
The Greek Cypriot side’s intensified efforts, during the reporting period, to obstruct the Turkish Cypriot side’s participation in the fields of arts, sports, education and culture will go down in history. The Greek Cypriot side has gone as far as preventing one of our students, who ranked first in an international exam, from obtaining her award, in complete disregard of human rights.
UNFICYP’s failure to report and inform the UN Security Council of such a significant incident, as well as other similar obstructionist acts by the Greek Cypriot side, led to omission of this issue in the resolution. This stance shakes our confidence in UNFICYP.
In a similar vein, the paragraph referring to the freedom of movement of UNFICYP, contains elements that do not reflect the truth. It is understood that the UN Security Council has been misguided regarding the matter in question. Our Ministry and our New York Representative Office have conveyed our objections regarding some aspects of the report and the resolution, as well as the realities on the ground, to all relevant parties including the UN Security Council.
In the paragraphs regarding the negotiations, it is stated that the process which started in 2015 actually failed in 2017; no progress was achieved during the reflection period that took place after July 2017, or in the efforts to identify a common vision; the contacts were held informally and that the sides reconfirmed their agreement on previously agreed issues during the informal Berlin meeting. Consequently, this clearly shows that not only no progress was achieved in the process, but ground was lost as well. Furthermore, the latest process could not advance beyond reconfirmation of those issues that have been agreed over and over since 2008. As we have stated countless times, for a negotiated settlement either the current circumstances have to change or a settlement model compatible with the current circumstances should be discussed. “Expecting different results through same exercises” would amount to nothing but the preservation of the status-quo. Turkish Cypriot people cannot be held hostage to the status-quo.
THE UNITED NATIONS IS IN CONTRADICTION WITH ITS OWN PRINCIPLES
The basic principles representing a sine-qua-non for all peacekeeping operations of the United Nations, which are enshrined in the guidelines of these operations and upheld as a requirement by the relevant UN Security Council Resolution, are not respected in the case of Cyprus. This principle clearly states that for a peacekeeping mission to be established in any given geography, consent of the sides to the dispute must be separately sought. It further argues that the failure to do so would cause the impartiality of the said mission to be questionable. It is unacceptable that the Turkish Cypriot side’ calls for its consent to be sought are still left unanswered.
Insistence of UNFICYP to maintain this position in the upcoming period will leave us with no choice but to reconsider our good will and tolerance as regards UNFICYP’s operations in North Cyprus.
We expect UNFICYP to start working with us as soon as possible with a view to taking the steps aimed at respecting this bedrock principle.