South’s attitude undermines negotiations: Nami

Foreign Minister Ozdil Nami, has said that the Greek Cypriot side’s mindset torpedoes the efforts for a solution and peace in Cyprus. Speaking to Turkish NTV television, Nami argued that the Greek Cypriot side thinks it can do whatever it wants, but the Turkish Cypriot side does not accept this.

On the issue of the search for oil and natural gas in South Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, Nami stated: “Even if the resources found are of the anticipated quantity, their extraction and usage for the benefit of the Cypriots is a process of perhaps ten years. That is, we are face to face with a mentality which torpedoes the efforts for a solution, the efforts for peace today because of an issue which is not fully known whether it will bring a profit after ten years”.

Referring to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, Nami reiterated the view that “no justified reason is left” for this isolation to continue. He argued: “There is absolutely no justified reason left for the big international organisations to keep the Turkish Cypriots under isolation. All countries have taken decisions saying that they should establish bilateral or multilateral relations with the Turkish Cypriots. We want the implementation of these decisions. We have waited for ten years and there is still no concrete step. Only the Republic of Turkey has taken concrete steps against this isolation. However, other states should also join in. We have great expectations especially from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation member states on this issue”.

Nami said that during his recent visits to Jeddah, Oman and Qatar, he met with the OIC’s general secretary and had made other useful contacts during which, he repeated the demand for lifting the embargoes as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Yeni Duzen’, Nami also referred again to these visits to Gulf countries and said that they will take the necessary steps with their businessmen and industrialists for developing cooperation with these countries, especially in the field of the economy. He noted that they held important discussions on issues such as marketing in these countries, of products produced in North Cyprus and securing tourists and investments. Replying to a question on the issue of exports of halloumi-hellim cheese to these countries, Nami said that they export hellim to Kuwait, but not to Qatar or Oman and “there is no reason” for not exporting hellim there.

Nami recalled a statement by a Greek Cypriot official saying that if the Turkish side does not renew its NAVTEX, the negotiations may resume after the elections on 19th April. Asked whether the Turkish Cypriot side will renew its NAVTEX which expires on 6th April, Nami replied that “everything must be balanced” and “if they also do not renew [their NAVTEX] and postpone it for this or that reason, we will show the same reaction to this”. However, if they continue their work in the area, we will react in the same way”, he added, arguing that the position of the Turkish side has not changed since December and if the Greek Cypriots suspend their explorations, the Turkish Cypriots will do the same.

Asked to comment on the statement made by the Turkish Prime Minister regarding the need for a “Ban Ki-moon Plan” for the solution of the Cyprus problem, Nami said that the Annan Plan was the result of long-lasting negotiations and all these elements are on record at the UN. “Therefore, when reference is made to a Ban Plan, Ban is not the one who will write it. This is a process,” he replied.

Nami reiterated the view of the Turkish Cypriot side that the communities should agree on what issues they can and the rest should be settled with UN arbitration, if this is possible. He said: “Most probably on some issues such arbitration will be needed. We are ready for this as well. As long as a plan is produced, reconciliation is reached, a plan supported by both leaders is submitted to referendum and the Cyprus problem ends.”

Sources Kibris Gazetesi, Yeni Duzen

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