Reports conflict on joint statement

Speaking at a joint press conference in Nicosia with President Eroglu, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu claimed that there was a “positive psychological atmosphere” favourable to finding a solution for the Cyprus problem.

He gave assurances that both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots were willing to take advantage of this positive atmosphere to restart the stalled negotiations.

“Hopefully this will is shared by everyone so that a vision that can bring peace to the island can be developed,” Davutoglu said, adding that the election of President Anastasiades to the presidency of South Cyprus had been a major turning point.

President Eroglu said he had maintained constant communication with Anastasiades by phone and in writing.

“If you ask did we achieve what we aimed for, I would say that there is not a solution yet in Cyprus. But we have pursued our search for a solution with all of our good will until today,” Eroglu said.

President Eroglu has been critical of the South Cyprus’ president’s unwillingness to come to the negotiating table and maintained that a joint statement is not necessary and is unprecedented.

Prior to his visit to Nicosia, FM Davutoglu held a series of meetings in Athens on 13th December to discuss the details on the process of reviving talks between the two sides of the island. Both Turkey and Greece are working on a text that summarises all previous negotiations of the four-decade-old problem, Davutoglu had told reporters in Greece.

Turkey, it is said, has gathered support from the UN, Britain and the US to help find a solution to the problem.

The Turkish Cypriots want to complete negotiations in the first quarter of 2014 and to put the peace plan to a referendum in the spring, half a century after the UN issued its first resolution on Cyprus.

In stark contrast to the upbeat tone of the Turkish press conference, South Cyprus government speaker, Christos Stylianides issued a written statement last night, (Saturday) saying that the opposite side had essentially scotched any hope of resuming the Cyprus negotiations.

In his statement, Stylianades said that for the past three months, President Anastasiades had struggled to break the deadlock over the joint statement in order to restart the negotiations.

He reiterated the President’s position that the basis of negotiations should be quite clear and should agree with UN Security Council resolutions. He added that:

 “If we enter into a dialogue without a specific basis for the negotiations, we will simply be led toward a deadlock with unforeseen consequences with regard to the prospects of a solution”.

Stylianides emphasised that the Turkish Cypriot leadership, with the support of the Turkish side, maintained an extreme and intransigent stance, and noted that under the present circumstances, the President is not willing to enter into a dialogue for the sake of a dialogue.

Further, the Government Spokesman added that the international community has an obligation, in the context of the recently altered state of geopolitical arrangements in the Eastern Mediterranean, to back up the negotiations so that the region finally enters into a process for peace, stability and cooperation.



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