Turkish FM: May start to Cyprus peace talks ‘unrealistic’
IT IS “unrealistic” to push for a start of peace talks in Cyprus by May, prior to European parliamentary elections, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said.
Addressing the Turkish Foreign Politics Parliamentary Committee in Ankara on Wednesday, Mr Çavuşoğlu said: “We are in favour of coming to an agreement as all parties, as both sides on the island, and as the guarantors, as to what and why we are negotiating this time round before starting the [talks].
“Otherwise all efforts will come to nothing.”
Referring to rising tensions in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean over disputed hydrocarbons exploration, he added: “We are starting drilling in the seas around Cyprus with the arrival of our new platform. Drilling had already begun in the Fatih-1 and Alanya-1 areas, he said, and after the imminent arrival of a second drillship, “we will be sending that around Cyprus and starting drilling”.
“We want to guarantee the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people on hydrocarbons.”
Mr Çavuşoğlu’s comments came as Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, visiting Slovenia, said it was necessary for “Turkey to show good intention for a permanent solution in Cyprus”.
He acknowledged “differences of views between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots” but commented that, citing UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Crans Montana in 2017, “there are paths to a solution and this is through the abolition of uncivilised guarantees and intervention rights, and having a functional state”.