Varosha issue was not raised at Biden meeting: Eroglu

In an interview with TRNC President Dervis Eroglu on Bayrak radio published yesterday by Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Bakis’ the president said that issue of the fenced off town of Varosha was closed before the arrival of US Vice President Joe Biden. He noted that Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) were discussed during his meeting with Biden, however, the issue of Varosha had not been raised.

Noting that issues and views of the Turkish Cypriot side were expressed during the meeting, Eroglu argued that Biden never used the phrase, “you will hand out Varosha. You should do it”. He went on:

“We put forward our views on this issue in an open and clear way. The issue of Varosha was brought to us by the US Ambassador even before the arrival of Biden. We expressed our views at the meeting with the Ambassador. He (US Ambassador) conveyed our views to Anastasiades. For this reason, the issue of Varosha was closed even before the arrival of Biden. The Ambassador put in an open and clear way that a compromise on this issue is not possible and that it is the Greek Cypriots who are uncompromising on the Varosha issue. This is the reason for not raising the issue of Varosha while we were holding a meeting with Biden. However, when esteemed Anastasiades raised this issue during the dinner, we expressed our objections and said that Varosha and Famagusta are an issue which satisfies only the Greek Cypriot side. For this reason, we said that an issue, which is under the chapter ‘Territory’, is impossible to handover to the Greek Cypriot side at a time when the negotiations have started.”

Commenting on President Anastasiades’ statement in Brussels that there may be a solution in 2015, Eroglu asked: “What does this mean? It is the continuation of the negotiations in an open end way.” Eroglu also said that everyone’s goal is the solution, adding that time is passing, which also had been said to Biden. Eroglu added: “My aim is to get results and bring them to a conclusion in the referendum. Confidence Building Measures should not mean wasting time.”

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