Akıncı: “Lute’s visit should not be considered as resumption of negotiations”

Turkish President

President Mustafa Akıncı made a statement following the meeting held with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu yesterday (24th July).

President Akıncı and Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu came together with the leaders of political parties with seats in parliament at the Presidential Palace yesterday (24th July). Prime Minister and the leader of the Republican Turkish Party Tufan Erhürman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and the leader of the People’s Party Kudret Özersay, the leader of the main opposition National Unity Party Hüseyin Özgürgün, the leader of the Rebirth Party Erhan Arıklı, the Social Democratic Party Gazimağusa MP Hüseyin Angolemli and Kudret Akay representing the Democrat Party, attended the meeting.

President Mustafa Akıncı and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu held a joint press conference after the meeting.

Speaking first President Akıncı said that he found the opportunity to evaluate the latest developments in Cyprus. Referring to the visit to the island of the UN Secretary General’s temporary UN Envoy to Cyprus Jane Holl Lute, the President said that her visit should not be misevaluated. He said that the Cyprus negotiations process was not starting again and that after the collapse of the Crans-Montana talks the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had asked for the sides to return to their countries and evaluate the outcome of the summit. “The UN Envoy had come to the island to hear what the sides had to say before reporting back to the UN Secretary General” said Akıncı.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu for his part began his speech by noting that after the elections had completed in Turkey, the Turkish President and state officials had carried out their first visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated that the reason of not reaching a solution in Cyprus is that the Greek Cypriot side does not accept the Turkish Cypriots as equals and does not want to share anything with the Turkish Cypriots.

Referring to the meeting that took place with the political parties that are represented within the TRNC parliament, Çavuşoğlu said that they had found the opportunity to discuss ways to strengthen and further develop ties between the two countries. He said that they were also informed about the UN Envoy’s visit to Cyprus and had carried out evaluations of the meeting. Referring to the collapse of the Crans-Montana summit, Çavuşoğlu said the reason why the summit had not been successful is because the Greek Cypriot side sees the Turkish Cypriot side as a minority and does not accept them as their equals and does not want to share anything with them.

“Despite Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side always being open towards a solution and displaying a constructive stance, a solution has not been possible and unfortunately the Turkish Cypriot side is paying the price through embargoes and isolation” said Çavuşoğlu. He added that the Greek Cypriot side needs to stop acting as the sole owner of the island. Touching upon the hydrocarbon resources on the island the Turkish Foreign Minister said that Turkey will never allow the Turkish Cypriot rights to be usurped by anyone and added that Turkey will continue to support a solution being found to the Cyprus problem through dialogue and diplomacy.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende