Turkey “astounded” by Anastasiades’ comments

Comments on a post-election Turkish government made by President Nicos Anastasiades have been rejected by Turkey.

Anastasiades had speculated that a new Turkish government may “directly affect” the Cyprus negotiations.

“We are astounded by the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades’ remarks in Turkish media which attempt to relate the negotiation process towards finding a comprehensive solution for the island with the formation of a (new) government in our country,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The Greek Cypriot leader must first and foremost make well use of the current [window of] opportunity to find a solution to the Cyprus issue, and focus his efforts on concluding the negotiations held with Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci within the framework of the goodwill mission of the UN general-secretary,” the statement read.

“We consider this attempt to question Turkey’s commitment to finding a fair, permanent and viable solution to the Cyprus issue an intentional tactical manoeuvre.”

It added that Turkey would continue to “duly perform its international commitments as it always had, and keep contributing to efforts towards resolving the Cyprus issue “at the earliest,” and “making the island and the East Mediterranean a region of peace, stability and cooperation.”

In an interview with Turkish daily ‘Hurriyet’ on Friday, Anastasiades said that “depending on who is going to form the coalition government in Turkey, or whether there is going to be a new election, I think the situation will affect Cyprus”.

According to ‘Hurriyet’, Anastasiades argued that, although both community leaders – himself and Turkish Cypriot Mustafa Akinci – are committed to the reunification of the island, developments in Turkey could have a direct effect on progress in negotiations.

But cautiously clarifying that such effect would likely revolve around isolated issues, thus distancing himself from a popular opposition mantra – “the key to a solution lies in Turkey, not the Turkish Cypriot community” – he gave examples to illustrate his point.

“I will give you an example with regard to confidence-building measures (CBMs),” he was reported as saying.

“We are talking about the opening of many more crossing points. But the most important crossing points, which will benefit both communities, are being characterised by the other side as military zones. In this respect, the demilitarisation of certain areas, or as many areas as possible, is going to be one of the most important CBMs. But we need the support of Turkey to do this. We also definitely need to the contribution of Turkey regarding core issues, such as the withdrawal of troops, territorial adjustments, settlers, and so on.”

Cyprus Mail

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