Turkish Cypriot President Dervis Eroglu has said he has the political will to solve the decades-long Cyprus problem by the end of this year, Turkish daily ‘Hurriyet’ reports.
“I have the political will for the solution. We will see if they [Greek Cypriots] have it or not,” Eroglu told the newspaper in Nicosia yesterday. His message came right after his counterpart, President Nicos Anastasiades, called on the Turkish side to trust him on a solution.
Eroglu said both sides had the advantage of having a rightist and a nationalist leader and that the signatures of both sides would produce a “double yes.”
“I have no doubt that Turkish Cypriots will approve my signature and I want to believe that Anastasiades’ signature will also be embraced by Greek Cypriots. But if Anastasiades follows the thesis of ‘We have nothing to give. They [Turks] should be the ones giving’ [as stated by] Greek Cypriot Archbishop Chrysostomos II, we cannot reach an agreement,” he said, adding that a give-and-take process should be started.
Eroglu said a solution could not be achieved if Greek Cypriots insisted on a process which referred to conditions that existed before 1974, when Turkey launched a peace keeping mission to the island in order to protect Turkish Cypriots. A second round of cross talks by negotiators from both sides of Cyprus is planned for this month, Eroglu said.
Meanwhile, Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades also speaking to ‘Hurriyet’ newspaper called on the Turkish Cypriot side to trust him ahead of a second round of peace talks which are took place yesterday.
Asked why Turkish Cypriots should believe in him, Anastasiades said: “I’m reversing the question, why doesn’t he believe me? I come from a village where Turkish and Greek Cypriots lived together.”
“My family had brotherly ties with families that I respect and appreciate. As a citizen of Cyprus and a Cypriot politician, I want the nation to unite,” he said. The president also cited a memory in which his father, a commissary at the village of Silikou in Limassol, saved Turkish Cypriots from Greek Cypriots fanatics in 1974.
Following a two year break, the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders held their first meeting in early February, issuing a joint declaration outlining the framework for a solution to the crisis that has divided the island for half a century.