The Greek Cypriot side is making an intensive effort to prolong the Cyprus negotiations, Finance Minister and leader of the Democratic Party (DP) Serdar Denktaş, has said.
According to the Greek Cypriot press and statements made by the Greek Cypriot foreign minister, they appear have been trying to persuade UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres not to declare the Cyprus negotiations to be at a dead end, Denktaş said in a written statement.
On Sunday 7 April, UNSG’s Temporary Special Advisor on Cyprus Jane Holl Lute held separate meetings with both Cypriot community leaders to see if they could agree on terms of reference in order to restart the Cyprus talks which ended in deadlock in July 2017. Mrs. Lute made no public statements about her findings but reported directly to UNSG Guterres.
Accusing the Greek Cypriot side of “consciously trying to waste the Turkish Cypriots’ time” by attempting to prevent the UN from writing down the fact that no terms of reference could be reached between the sides, Denktaş said that the Greek Cypriots had tried to keep the process which they had murdered connected to the life support machine.
He noted that some politicians in the Turkish Cypriot community still argue that time should be given for the Greek Cypriots to clarify their stance, in spite of the fact that 15 years had passed since former UNSG Kofi Annan had included in his report (28 May 2004, S/2004/437) a paragraph saying that “if the Greek Cypriots are ready to share power and prosperity with the Turkish Cypriots in a federal structure to be established on the basis of political equality, they must show this in practice and not only in words”.
According to Denktaş, the Greek Cypriot side had not taken into consideration any suggestions made by the UN during the past 15 years and continued its own way, by taking a tough stance against the will of the Turkish Cypriots and by harming the UN’s reputation.
“We think that the time has come now for UNSG Guterres to remind the Greek Cypriots of the ‘no’s’ which they have been saying for years and tell them to clearly state what they want”, he said. He added that prolonging the uncertainty by presenting the preparation of the terms of reference as something which is possible, favoured neither the Turkish Cypriots nor the UN.
“Instead of keeping this dead process in bed with a respirator, we should ensure that the peoples of the island can look to the future feeling more secure, with new and creative ideas, actions and methods”, he concluded.