Cyprus News | North-South Relationship Strained

Cyprus News - North-South Relationship StrainedCyprus News – North-South Relationship Strained

Things don’t seem to be going too well between the two sides of the divided island. According to Yeni Duzen newspaper (13.10.14) the TRNC Foreign Minister, Ozdil Nami said that,

“As of today there is neither a seismic explorations vessel nor a warship there. As of today, our ships have not reached the area. This temporary crisis will definitely be pushed aside, but there is another crisis, more serious one which prevents progress at the table. And this is the fact that the Greek Cypriot leader does not accept the convergences of the past. “

Nami insists that:

“The important thing here is whether the Greek Cypriot side will abandon the unilateral steps on the hydrocarbon issue. As long as they take steps we will also take steps. Everyone should know this. That is, this crisis could not be overcome with the approach of ‘let Turkey stop sending ships there or let it withdraw the ships it has send and the negotiating process to be established again thanks to this’. If there is a wish for overcoming this crisis, either respect will be shown to both sides’ currying out explorations in the area or everyone should stop his activities. There is no other alternative”.

Contradicting Nami’s assertion that there is no warship in the area Greek Cypriots are exploring, the Turkish Armed Forces issued a statement saying that a Turkish warship has observed the platform from a distance of five nautical miles (nine kilometers). So, while Nami’s words are strictly true, a warship has been sent to the area with easy access to interfere if orders are given.

Star Kibris newspaper (13.10.14) quoted Dervis Eroglu saying that the Greek Cypriots asked for the return of the Karpas and Guzelyurt. He also said that the Greek Cypriots demanded that the President of the Republic will always be a Greek Cypriot and the Vice President Turkish Cypriot.

“In other words, this will be a choice of the Greek Cypriots, not the Turkish Cypriots. The army will totally go away. If an agreement is reached in the negotiations, those who come from Turkey will not be able to vote. This is what I can say for the moment. I cannot speak more openly. Behold, this is the game that exists”.

On the home front, a new Turkish Cypriot negotiator has been appointed; Ergun Olgun. He had previously served as political adviser for Rauf Denktas, and coordinator of the Turkish Cypriot technical committees which negotiated the 2004 Annan Plan, so he is not stranger to the Cyprus Problem and its twists and turns.

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