News from TRNC

Statement by the Presidential Spokesperson Mr. Hasan Ercakica

The negotiations regarding the Cyprus problem continued yesterday with the meeting held between the two leaders. During this meeting, the agenda and methodology of the negotiations that are expected to be intensified in January were discussed. In line with this discussion, the two leaders have confirmed that there will be two three-day meetings in January. They have also discussed the details of these meetings.

It should be deemed as a significant development that the two leaders have stated their common wish after yesterday’s meeting that 2010 becomes “a year of solution”.

We would like to state once again that the Turkish side attaches great importance to the efficiency of the meetings that will be held in January and is determined to do its share to achieve this.

As the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser Mr. Downer stated while he was leaving Cyprus for Christmas and New Year holiday “January is going to be a very important point in this whole negotiating process”. Mr. Downer also stated that there has been “a very steady progress” over the last 15 months in the negotiation process and that “in January there is a real opportunity to make very significant strides forward”.

For 2010 to be “a year of solution” and to transform January into a real opportunity to that end, the Greek Cypriot side has to do its share just like the Turkish side. The international community also has to show the interest required not to lose this opportunity.

While there are such developments regarding the Cyprus problem, we have also been closely following the developments concerning the EU membership process of Turkey.

As it is known, another chapter has been opened in Turkey - EU membership process yesterday. Turkish Foreign Minister Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, who is in Brussels for the opening of the environment chapter, stated -by giving necessary warnings- that the Greek Cypriot side will not be able to impose the kind of solution of their own preference for the Cyprus problem by exploiting the EU membership process of Turkey.

By stating that as Turkey, they support a solution in Cyprus that is in accordance with the UN parameters and that they will continue to do so, Mr. Davutoğlu has also responded to all kinds of speculation regarding the negotiation process and Turkey’s support.

For us, the most important point in the statement Mr. Davutoğlu made yesterday in Brussels is the stress on the fact that the European Union is getting close to the point of making a strategic decision. By saying that “The European Union has gotten close to a stage of strategic decision, it will either not permit one sided declarations and approaches by seeing Turkey’s pluses or sacrifice strategic pluses to political concerns or to the demands of a member state in a manner we do not want it to be”, Mr. Davutoğlu has announced to the whole world that they do not intend to sacrifice the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people to the EU membership and in a way reminded that, as the authorities of the Republic of Turkey have previously stated, if they are forced to make a choice between the EU membership process and the Turkish Cypriot people, they will choose the Turkish Cypriot people.

Our expectation is that the Greek Cypriot side perceives this message reiterated by Mr. Davutoğlu and provides the necessary contribution to reach a timely, just and lasting solution for the Cyprus problem through the negotiations maintained by the two leaders.

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