UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has opened a “new window” for Cyprus during the International Conference in Crans-Montana, Switzerland in 2017, Foreign Minister Kudret Ozersay, has argued.
In an interview with Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Yeni Duzen’, published in two parts on Sunday and Monday, Ozersay said that the evaluation process has not ended for the Turkish Cypriot side and added that they will complete their evaluation and exchange views with the UNSG as to the direction towards which things should go and how this should be done. Ozersay said the following:
“What we need is a climate in which mutual security is achieved and for the Greek Cypriots to feel the need for a solution and be ready to share the administration and the wealth. […] During the International Conference, the UNSG did not say ‘this conference is over, continue the negotiations in Cyprus’. He declared its failure and said ‘go and think about what you will do from now on’. He, actually, opened a window. […] The evaluation process has not ended for us. We will complete our evaluation and views will be exchanged with the UNSG on the issue of where and how we will finally go. Surely at some stage, he will ask the sides, perhaps in the middle or in the end of summer, perhaps in September during the convention of the UN General Assembly. […]”
Meanwhile, Yeni Duzen reported that Ozersay was asked to comment on a statement made by Italian ENI company’s officials that they would not abandon their rights in bloc 3 of South Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). He said:
“ENI had an experience regarding the recent past. In general, I do not want to make a comment regarding areas for which Turkey claims rights, but ENI Company should be ready to carry out drillings beside the company [TPAO] which the Turkish Cypriot side had licensed in the areas in which it claims rights. This will happen, if the Greek Cypriot side continues its current stance of not approaching cooperation on the natural resources issue. […]
“We will start scientific and economic studies which will have the same character as the ones of the Greek Cypriots. If someone interferes and says to us ‘you carry out studies in the same area’, let him come. Then let us sit and discuss together how we will administrate or share it. This will be cooperation imposed by the conditions, the needs. Sometimes some moves should be made at the correct time for cooperation and not for conflict. […]”
Asked to comment on the lifting of the tariffs implemented by the former coalition government on the supplies sent by South Cyprus to the Greek Cypriot and Maronite people living in North Cyprus and on the return of the Maronites to their villages in the North, Ozersay said that they had changed their policy on the issue of the tariffs, that they should have shown courage and that the elements which led them to take this step have actually not ceased to exist. “That is, the risk of the aid granted as humanitarian being sold in groceries was not abolished”, he argued adding however, that they had to view the situation through the eyes of the international community.
Referring to the return of the Maronites to their villages, Ozersay said that the government had held some meetings and had taken some steps and that now the time and the way for putting their decisions into practice is being discussed. Ozersay expressed the view that this cannot happen immediately and not all Maronites can return together, because issues such as property, security, infrastructure and communications for the people who will re-settle in the TRNC need to be resolved.