Forthcoming presidential elections delaying negotiations

The Vice Rector of Academic Affairs at Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) has said that the South will not return to the negotiations until after the presidential elections, ‘Kibris Postasi’ reports.

Prof Dr Ahmet Sozen, who has made special research into the Cyprus problem and Turkish foreign policy and has a number of publications on both topics, said that the Turkish Cypriots’ response has been to extend the NAVTEX (notice to mariners) which has seen Turkish seismic vessel ‘Barbaros’ continue its seismic explorations offshore Cyprus.

Sozen added that he did not see the talks resuming until the middle of the year.

He said it had always been possible to solve the Cyprus problem through dialogue and noted that neither side had tried this. He pointed out that both sides had resorted to displays of power and such actions were not helpful or creative.

Sozen explained that instead of returning to the table, the Greek Cypriots had presented preconditions; the TRNC is now in the pre-election period and Eroglu is in campaigning mode.

As the South did not want to make any concessions, it therefore preferred to wait until after the elections to resume talks. Sozen concluded that the Turkish side’s response to this was to issue another NAVTEX.

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