No time for years-long talks on Cyprus, Turkish FM

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 26.01.2019 00:09

Turkey wants result-oriented negotiations in Cyprus, the country's foreign minister said on Friday.

"We need to see the realities. We have no time and energy for years-long negotiations," Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said at the Turkish Cypriot coastal town of Girne as he received an honorary doctorate from the Girne American University.

"We have seen that it is pointless to be bound with a single option with a patronizing approach," he said, stressing all options must be discussed.

Çavuşoğlu said that the Greek Cypriots apparently were not ready to share anything with the Turks amid the Crans-Montana process.

"Initiating new negotiations, without seeing these facts, is nothing but a dream," he said.

Çavuşoğlu recalled that there were not any developments regarding the administration, power sharing, political equality and property in the Cyprus conference held in Switzerland's Crans-Montana, and said the Greek side took steps "backwards" in line with the agreements and continues to do so.

He further asserted that the Greek side began stipulating harsh conditions in areas such as authorization sharing and the participation of the Turkish vote in decision-making.

Turkish officials were at the table for a federal solution with specified parameters, Çavuşoğlu said.

"The Greek Cypriot side has not come near a solution, and will not in the coming process," Çavuşoğlu said, underlining that this "reality" was observed by the U.N. secretary-general, guarantor U.K. and observer EU.

The island has been divided since 1974 when decades of violence against the island's Turks was followed by a Greek Cypriot coup and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

Negotiations over Cyprus resumed after a 2004 U.N.-backed Annan Plan to reunify the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities.

Numerous negotiations opened from 2005 to 2016 also failed, with talks falling out in 2013 due to the Greek Cypriot government's unilateral declaration of an exclusive economic zone in the Eastern Mediterranean and initiation of drilling activities in search of hydrocarbons in the region.

There has been an on-and-off peace process over the last few years, the latest failed initiative having taken place in Crans-Montana, Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the U.K., which collapsed last year.

Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Turkish Cypriots also have rights to the resources in the area.

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