Bi-zonal agreement essential to Turkish Cypriots: Eroglu

President Dervis Eroglu, on arrival from New York, held a press conference at Ercan airport where he evaluated the meetings that he had held in New York.

He said that he had held a fruitful meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and had informed Ban on the situation regarding the run up to the Cyprus talks.

The Turkish Cypriots side is ready to begin productive negotiations within the framework of a timetable, he said. He added that it was possible to reach a solution by the year’s end, if the Greek Cypriots shared the same political will. He stressed, however, that the principal of bi-zonality is vitally important to the Turkish Cypriots.

Eroglu claimed that the Greek Cypriot side intended to put aside previously negotiated convergences and to introduce preconditions for the restart of negotiations. He added that letters sent from President Anastasiades to Ban Ki-moon and the President of the EU Commission were evidence of these intentions.

“The content of these letters appeared in the Greek Cypriot newspapers. Amongst other things, Anastasiades was talking about how the new partnership will evolve from the Cyprus Republic. At no stage of the negotiations was such a position accepted as a UN parameter,” Eroglu said.

Eroglu warned that any efforts by the South to water down security and guarantees were unacceptable and added that the preservation of the principle of bi-zonality as defined by the UN was of vital importance for the Turkish Cypriot side.

He stressed that current problems could be overcome if negotiators were sincere; if there was mutual dialogue which aimed to be productive and viable.

Commenting also on meetings to be held by the special representatives in Ankara and Athens, Eroglu stated that these visits would take place on the basis of equality.

He also added that the Turkish side perceived this development as a step towards holding a multilateral conference.

Declaring that it was the Turkish Cypriot side’s target to reach a comprehensive agreement by the end of the year, Eroglu argued this will be followed by a multilateral conference during which all subjects will be finalised.

“If a full consensus will be reached, this will be presented to the approval of the two communities at a simultaneous referendum,” he added.

Eroglu concluded by saying that the issue of territory, which would create unrest on the island, should be discussed at the last stage of the negotiations.

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