Turk­ish FM: May start to Cyprus peace talks ‘un­re­al­is­tic’

Cyprus Today - - NEWS -

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”.

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