South Cyprus rebuffs TRNC’s offer to start negotiations

South Cyprus has rejected the Turkish Cypriots’ offer to start negotiations, claiming that conditions are not “convenient” at the moment.

“The aim in the Cyprus issue should not be to start the negotiation process. The important thing is to get a result. Current conditions are not convenient at the moment for taking [the] initiative,” Christos Stylianides, the government spokesman, said.

He was apparently responding to Huseyin Ozgurgun, the TRNC Foreign Minister, who said on April 4 the TRNC was willing to resume stalled reunification talks. Ozgurgun said they were waiting to see South Cyprus’ response to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s special adviser for Cyprus, Alexander Downer, on launching negotiations that had been suspended in 2012 before the Greek Cypriot elections.

Stilianidis, however, said finding a solution to the Cyprus problem was among their priorities, adding that his side was ready to be a part of a solution process if there was meaningful content and perspective. He added that there was a need for serious preliminary preparation to guarantee a result regarding the Cyprus issue.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also criticized on April 7 South Cyprus’ approach to the matter.

“The attitude [President Nicos Anastasiades] adopted after the elections has created disappointment. President Dervis Eroglu made a call for a meeting at the earliest [opportunity]. We were all expecting that both could have at least come together [by now], but the information that we have obtained lends the impression that this won’t be possible in the near future.”

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