President Ersin Tatar met with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), whose term of office expires at the end of this month, BRT reported on Monday.
Tatar stated that he had re-iterated the position of the Turkish Cypriot side regarding the Cyprus problem to Spehar.
Following their meeting, Tatar said that he had thanked Spehar for her contributions and in particular her efforts and support of the work of the Bilateral technical committees. Spehar had acted impartially in the discharge of her duties, said Tatar and wished her well in her future work. The President added that Spehar is a person who knows Cyprus well, and that she may have some input in the Cyprus issue in the future.
Noting that aside from his hour-long one-to-one meeting with Spehar, Tatar said that he had also had lunch with her and his Official Representative and Chief Negotiator Ergün Olgun and his team.
Tatar said, “Spehar put her weight behind reopening the borders that were closed for a long time during the pandemic period. Spehar and her team made great efforts to run the bilateral technical committees prior to the opening of the borders”.
President Tatar went on to say the following:
“We’ll be in New York in a week. There may be various meetings there. There will be a meeting with the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Guterres. I told Ms. Spehar that there is no change in the position of the Turkish Cypriot side and there will be no change. When we look at the realities of Cyprus, our demand from the international community and the United Nations is that an agreement be accepted on the basis of equality.
“When we look at the 1960 Agreements, there are two founding, common peoples. When we look beyond 1974, we were completely excluded. Therefore, we have come this far by establishing our own state. In that respect, the recognition of sovereign equality and the recognition of our international equal status are the minimum conditions that can bring us back to a negotiating table”.
Recalling the six-point proposal he presented at the five-plus-one informal meeting held in Geneva, Tatar said, “We took the stance that we can open the other dimensions of the Cyprus issue for discussion, officially at the negotiation table, from the position where we will be accepted as sovereign equals and, naturally, having international equal status. The UN Secretary-General respected all this. In fact, at one point, he technically voiced ‘authorities go from the bottom up’. In other words, we saw an attitude in him that approached the point we call ours“, he said.
Reminding that the UN Secretary-General had urged the parties to go to Geneva with new ideas and that the Turkish side went with the idea of sovereign equality and the recognition of international equal status, Tatar emphasised that the international community and the Greek side would take the Turkish side more seriously if sovereign equality and international equal status were recognised.