We are not playing the “blame game”: Ozersay

Turkish Cypriot negotiator, Kudret Ozersay has said that the Greek Cypriot side does not accept the convergences achieved between the sides during the negotiations. In statements made on Tuesday after his two and a half hour meeting with the Greek Cypriot negotiator, Andreas Mavroyiannis, Ozersay argued that this situation worries them as regards the future of the negotiations, Turkish Cypriot daily’ Kibris’ reported yesterday.

The paper writes that in statements to the Greek Cypriot press, Andreas Mavroyiannis replied to Ozersay and said that there is no convergences document at the negotiating table. He also accused Ozersay of disclosing the content of the negotiations, noting that the UN Secretary-General’s former advisor, Alexander Downer had also said that the UN convergences document was not at the negotiating table.

Ozersay told ‘Kibris’ that there were two issues worrying the Turkish Cypriot side. One is the objection by the Greek Cypriot side to the convergences reached in the past and the other is the accusation by the Greek Cypriot negotiator against him that he was playing the “blame game.”

Ozersay says that the objections of the Greek Cypriot side to many convergences reached since 2008 will either delay the process or will cause its collapse.

He argued: “I think that if they (the Greek Cypriot side) continue questioning the convergence papers, this will stop being a mini-crisis. In fact, it is not a mini-crisis now, it is an obstacle and deadlock”.

Ozersay said that in order for the problem to be overcome, President Anastasiades should rid himself of the commitments he had made on the Cyprus problem with  internal politics or that the sides concerned with the issue should speak up. He stated that: “The UN has a position saying that we should benefit from the accumulated experience and not deviate from it. In the end the sides together did these and it is a UN process. Perhaps the process is not in a deadlock, it is not collapsing, but an important obstacle exists and this worries us”.

Ozersay went on and suggested that the objections of the Greek Cypriot side might be a delaying tactic because they want to wait for the presidential elections in Turkey and in the TRNC. He argued that it is wrong to link the Cyprus problem with the elections and that the rational thing to say is “come and let us solve the issue before the elections”.

He described the negotiations as “a wall of a house” and said that if a brick is removed from this wall, a domino effect could be created and the entire wall could collapse. “Some matters which we have accepted in return for some conditions, stop being acceptable with the withdrawal of these conditions”, he stated. Adding that the Greek Cypriot side is trying to torpedo everything which the Turkish side was considering to be to its own advantage. He noted that if the Greek Cypriot side withdraws these convergences, the Turkish side will say that “since you do not want this convergence, I do not want the other one” and “this will bring us to point zero”.

Responding to statements made on Tuesday by Greek Cypriot negotiator, Andreas Mavroyiannis, Ozersay said that the Turkish Cypriot side is still avoiding the “blame game”, but the Greek Cypriot side does this at the level of its leader, who in front of the UN Secretary-General, had accused the Turkish Cypriot side of deviating from the joint statement. He argued that they could establish that there are many things which might be described as accusations or deviations from the joint statement, if they wanted to do so, but “we did not go around saying these, we did not go to the UN to complain”.

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