President Dervis Eroglu said on Saturday that the Turkish Cypriots wanted to start negotiations this October and added that the problem could be resolved by March 2014 if the Greek Cypriot side came to the table.
“We are planning to start negotiations intensively in October and get a result from it,” Eroglu told press members after meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York. “As the Turkish Cypriot side, we’ve stressed that we are ready to make result oriented negotiations immediately for a comprehensive solution.”
Eroglu said, “The Turkish side wants to solve the problem and has proved this with the referendum but the Greek side have shown they don’t want to solve the problem by rejecting all the plans proposed so far.”
The TRNC President also talked about the timetable for a solution.
“If the Greek side comes to the table in order to solve the problem, we will reach an agreement on the fundamental issues by the end of the year and on the details by January or February in 2014. Thus, we could resolve the problem completely in March with a referendum to be held on both sides,” he told the press.
Stating that Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades was wasting people’s time by bringing up the Maras proposal, Eroglu emphasised that Turkey and North Cyprus do not have an agenda on Maras.
In response to a question on what would happen if they couldn’t find a solution to the Cyprus problem, Eroglu replied that they would increase their investment in sectors like tourism and education, which would bring money to the island.
Talks were stalled since January 2012 due to postponements made by Greek Cypriot government which had presidential elections and a financial crisis on its hands. No progress has been made so far in the UN-backed talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders.
Greek Cypriots, in a referendum, rejected the Annan Plan in 2004 while Turkish Cypriots voted to accept the plan by a good majority, in a separate referendum held in the North.