Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C.

News from the Turkish Foreign Ministry

Press Release Regarding The Latest Developments In Cyprus , 01.04.2010

Two years have passed since the commencement of the ongoing negotiation process in order to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue. Under the negotiations within the UN framework, the two leaders have met more than 70 times and there have been many other meetings at the technical level. The number of meetings is more than those held during the Annan Plan process. The Turkish Cypriot side conducted the process with a sincere, constructive and dynamic approach, taking numerous initiatives in order to intensify and accelerate the negotiations and reach an agreement. Thanks to the constructive approach of the Turkish side, there has been considerable progress in the negotiations. The Turkish Cypriot side also spent maximum effort for taking this progress under record, thus preparing the ground for concluding the process with a just and lasting settlement as soon as possible.

During the visit of the UN Secretary-General to the Island on 1 February 2010, the Turkish Cypriot side also tried to record the progress made within the framework of its Governance and Power Sharing package bridging proposal of 4 January 2010, aiming at determining the structure and functioning of the new Partnership that shall emerge from the comprehensive settlement. Unfortunately, due to the attitude of the Greek Cypriot side, it has not been possible to benefit from the UNSG’s visit in that sense. The Turkish Cypriot side, despite the approaching presidential elections in the TRNC, spared no effort to continue the negotiations in an intensified and result-oriented manner. However, neither has this approach been duly reciprocated by the Greek Cypriot side.

Recording the progress in a concrete and substantial manner by making a joint statement at the last leaders meeting of 30 March, before the interruption due to the TRNC presidential elections, has not only been the desire of the Turkish side, but also the anticipation of the UN Secretary-General and third countries. Such a joint statement was important for avoiding an unnecessary loss of time in the negotiating process which shall be resumed following the elections.

The fact that the two leaders could in fact make a joint statement is welcomed. However, it would have been preferable that the progress made in the negotiations which have been going on for 19 months be taken concretely and substantially under record and thus confirmed by this joint statement. This has not been possible yet. The fact that the Greek Cypriot side refrained from assuming their responsibility in the process and their efforts aimed at hiding the negotiations from the eyes of the world public opinion were the main reasons for this. Making efficient use of the limited time at our disposal and not refraining from taking result-oriented steps are most important for not losing the narrow window of opportunity, as in 2004 and for the negotiating process to reach a positive conclusion.

The statements made today by TRNC President Talat and his negotiating team, aimed at meeting the need of informing his people and stating the progress achieved in the negotiating process, in line with the joint statement of the two leaders, is welcomed and as a guarantor and motherland, Turkey fully supports the approach of the Turkish Cypriot side and the UN negotiating process.

Turkey earnestly desires the ongoing process to reach a just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue in line with the established UN parameters and the leaders’ joint statements, as soon as possible and continues to contribute to this aim with goodwill and resolve.