President Nicos Anastasiades’ main concern was his re-election rather than making progress at the Cyprus Conference, Chief Negotiator Ozdil Nami has said. “At Crans-Montana we understood that for Mr. Anastasiades, re–election was more important than a comprehensive solution”, he said.
In an interview with Greek daily ‘Kathimerini’, he said that it was unlikely that negotiations would recommence from the point they were left at the failed Cyprus Conference in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. “It is not possible to succeed with the same methodology and open-ended time limit”, he added. The Greek Cypriots are not ready for a federal solution, Nami said. This because, among other issues, they reject the idea of a rotating presidency.
Stressing that the Turkish Cypriot side did not leave the table, Nami said “it should be stressed that it was the Turkish side which accepted the Guterres framework and made proposals accordingly. This was officially confirmed by the UN. The Turkish Cypriot side openly revealed during the dinner that it attended the conference not only for the solution of the Security and Guarantees issue but for a comprehensive solution.”
He also stressed that the Turkish Cypriot side had taken a significant step by accepting the Guterres framework which stated that it was not possible to make the right of intervention permanent.
Asked whether the Turkish side insisted on the give and take, Nami said yes.
“I am following the statements by Mr. Anastasiades and Spokesperson Christodoulides. These are statements which could satisfy many Greek Cypriots who do not know the details of the Cyprus issue and the conference. These are unrealistic theses. The Turkish Cypriot side asked for help from the Greek Cypriot side on a range of issues in order to take steps on issues which the Greek Cypriots are interested in. The Turkish Cypriot side did not present any written proposal because the last proposals of Anastasiades were not presented written. If we wanted a solution then we could present our proposals to the UN Secretary General and he could put a package on the negotiating table. The Greek Cypriot leader had never accepted this.”
Nami also confirmed that Turkey wanted to keep “a number of military troops which would not be a threat to the Greek Cypriot community” and was willing to open up Varosha/Maras as part of a deal.
Asked whether the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposal to review the right of intervention in the future consisted of sunset clause or not, he said “yes, but only in the condition of reaching an agreement on a new security system which would satisfy both sides.”
Touching upon the issue of rotating presidency, Nami said “Although Mr. Anastasiades knew from the beginning that this chapter could not be finalised without the rotating presidency he strategically chose not to agree on this issue. He chose to continue negotiating and use the issue for getting some compromises and justifying himself to his community. Although there was a Turkish thesis of 2 to 1 in the Guterres framework, the Greek Cypriot side by rejecting this had openly violated the Guterres framework.”
Asked whether Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s remarks that ‘the parameters of a federal solution have come to an end’ means the end of a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation, Nami replied by asking “why couldn’t we reach a solution in the last 50 years?”
“We as Cypriots should concentrate on the answer of this question. It is not possible to succeed with the same rules, methodology and open-ended process. We also agreed that the perpetuation of the actual state is not possible. Then what should we do? We should make a review. I cannot know the result of this review today. Today, as the Turkish Cypriot side we confirmed that the Greek Cypriot side is not ready for a federal solution through the UN principles and parameters which we had negotiated. Such a solution had come to the table in Crans-Montana however rejected by the Greek Cypriot side. This shows that there is a big problem. I don’t know when we can discuss all these”, Nami said.
Asked whether the Guterres framework would be a base or not if the negotiations restart, he said “the Greek Cypriot side should give up laying down new conditions. We should agree on a package approach which will not involve an open-ended negotiation. Is this possible? I have serious doubts. If it is to happen why didn’t it happen until now? We saw in Crans-Montana that for Mr. Anastasiades re-election was more important than a comprehensive solution”.