UN launches initiative to overcome convergences deadlock

Turkish Cypriot negotiator Kudret Ozersay has said that the UN has launched in an attempt to overcome the difficulties arising from the convergences disagreement in the Cyprus talks. Speaking to ‘Kibris’ daily newspaper yesterday, Ozersay said that the deadlock had to be overcome adding that intervention from outside was to be expected if the deadlock is not resolved.

A 70 page document which had been presented by the UN to both presidents in May 2013, listing all agreements and divergences reached by former negotiators, had been considered by the Turkish Cypriots as part of the basis of the renewed Cyprus talks. However, President Anastasiades had never accepted that precept and wanted to start the talks from scratch. This fundamental disagreement has now become a sticking point in the negotiations which began in February this year after a two year break.

Ozersay also said that such disagreements could occur again in the future and added that the important thing is to keep the negotiations going and solve the problem. Yesterday, he took part in a meeting organised by the Cyprus Dialogue Platform at the Ledra Palace Hotel in the buffer zone. Referring to this meeting, he said that there he had talked with his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Andreas Mavroyiannis and added that they had a good conversation, but would give no details.

Ozersay said that he will continue informing the people on the content of the talks without violating the principle of confidentiality that exists in the negotiations. He noted that if it comes to a time when he is no longer able to do this, he would give up his post of negotiator. “We must build balance between transparency and confidentiality,” he argued and referred once again to the position of the Greek Cypriot side that “no documents exist on the table”. He asserted that: “If there are no documents, it means that there are also no convergence documents and then this process should be questioned”.

Elsewhere, speaking on Kanal SIM, Ozersay said that “agreement” or “convergence” has been achieved on many chapters in the negotiations and implied that not recognising past convergences could undermine the whole negotiation process by repeating that, “if some bricks are taken out the entire building will collapse“. He argued that agreement exists on the judiciary and on legislation, with the exception of some chapters. He said that on legislation, issues such as the representation ratio in parliament, the decision-making process and mechanisms for overcoming any differences had been agreed. He noted that there is full accord on the issue of international agreements as reached in the past. He argued that many agreements exist regarding the economy and noted that convergence documents exist for more than 80% of the issues.

According to Ozersay, the three issues on which the least progress has been made are territorial adjustment, security and guarantees, and property.

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