TRNC Foreign Minister Ozdil Nami said the Cyprus negotiations should be given a chance by the international community, Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Kibris Postasi’ reports.
Nami is in Germany meeting with businessmen at the Turkish-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Berlin. Speaking about Turkey-EU relations Nami argued that the situation has changed dramatically in the last ten years. The economic crisis which hit the Greek Cypriot and Greek economies were also on Nami’s agenda who claimed that Turkey had become “the shining star” of the region and that the TRNC stood strong with its banking and other sectors and continued to be a functioning democracy. In his speech Nami also praised the Turkey-North Cyprus Century water project and added there would also be a chance to bring electricity across from Turkey.
“Greek Cypriot expectations from EU were not met and their attempts to use the EU as a trump against Turkey have been completely defeated”, said Nami.
Emphasising the importance of the hydrocarbon reserves found in the region, Nami proposed that the most practical way of transferring the gas in Israel, Lebanon, Egypt and Cyprus to the EU is through Turkey. “For this to happen, a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem is necessary,” said Nami.
In his speech Nami said the future of NATO-EU relations is also affected by the Cyprus problem. “Turkey would not accept the Cyprus Republic if it’s solely under the control of Greek Cypriots and the fact that Turkey is a NATO member and Cyprus is an EU member brings complications regarding NATO-EU relations. Therefore a settlement is also necessary in this regard too,” Nami stated.
Nami also said that the EU should take further steps to support the solution. ”Greek Cypriots entered the EU after a 10 year preparation period but these preparations excluded the TRNC. Considering this gap, the EU’s responsibility is to get Turkish Cypriots prepared and be ready to be part of the EU. These steps will contribute to the solution,” said Nami.
“There are no remaining issues which are not already negotiated upon and the joint declaration signed by the two leaders clearly outlines the main features of the solution. As the Turkish Cypriot side we are ready and we are intensely working towards a solution. We are also very grateful for Turkey’s support in this process.”
Nami emphasised the investment opportunities for foreign investors and ended his speech by urging Turkish and German businessmen to invest in North Cyprus.