South Cyprus government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides emphasised on Wednesday that there could be no new solution framework for a settlement to the Cyprus problem.
He was responding to statements by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci calling for a fresh approach in settlement talks to avoid the repetition of deadlocks such as happened at the last Cyprus Conference at Crans-Montana.
The government spokesman repeated that there could be no interim agreement on the Cyprus problem.
In his address on Tuesday ahead of the 34th anniversary of the unilateral declaration of independence in the north on Wednesday, Akinci said that the possibility of the UN Secretary-General creating a strategic settlement framework could be explored. He added that a negotiation programme subjected to a timetable to fill in this framework, was also possible.
The Turkish Cypriot side could no longer agree to a continuation of the Cyprus negotiations in the same fruitless manner for another 50 years, Akinci said.
Christodoulides said that there were already many strategic agreements as regards the settlement negotiations; “the high-level agreements of 1977, 1979, of July 8, 2006, the joint declaration, and the most basic principle is that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.
Regarding the revised negotiations framework of which Akinci had spoken, Christodoulides said, “It is there. It is the one that has been agreed on and which we strive to achieve.”
“There cannot be a new framework, there was never such a proposal by the UN,” Christodoulides said.
He also stressed that there could not be an interim agreement.
“An interim agreement is not a solution as regards the Cyprus problem. There is no such issue, it is not a subject for discussion at the negotiation table,” he said.
Christodoulides said that Akinci’s statements also made clear that the Turkish side had asked for Turkish troops to stay and for guarantees to continue. This, he said, explained to all those still in doubt, what had led to the collapse of the Cyprus Conference in Switzerland last July.
But Akinci’s statements also proved the state of confusion on the Turkish side, Christodoulides said.
“We daily hear different approaches from Turkey and Turkish Cypriots. If we compare statements of (Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut) Cavusoglu, (Turkish Cypriot negotiator Ozdil) Nami and Akinci, they are in three completely different directions. This is a sign of confusion among the Turkish Cypriot community about their goal. There is no clear goal and that is why we had no results so far,” he said.
Christodoulides denied that the negotiations remained at a standstill because of next year’s presidential elections. Everyone is waiting for Turkey’s next move, he said.
He said that much would depend on Turkish President Erdogan’s upcoming visit to Greece. It is anticipated that substantive talks to prepare the ground for discussion on security and guarantees, the chapter “that led to the negative result at Crans-Montana”, will begin.
In his independence day speech, Akinci warned that if the Greek Cypriot side fails to curb its maximalist positions, the Turkish Cypriots would continue on their own way as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Christodoulides said that efforts to have the “breakaway regime” recognised would be futile, “without the consent of the Republic of Cyprus”.