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Federal solution with political equality
It was stated at the meeting held between the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the two leaders in Berlin that a solution in Cyprus will be a federation based on political equality. The way for a five-party conference was also opened. Akıncı: “We put the derailed process back on track.” Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman: “We need to continue working for a solution with all our strength.”
- Sequestration order for state: £560,000 fine – The court ordered the TRNC to pay a fine for having given the title deed of a property belonging to Maronite Ninos Andoni Yiamakis to another individual in 1986.
If the new process is to commence, it will be different
The trilateral meeting in Berlin ended with an emphasis on a different process. UN Secretary-General, in a written statement issued following the meeting, said he will work towards convening a five-party meeting but did not give a date. Guterres said: “It is acknowledged that this time must be different.”
- The explosion is not a result of sabotage – Turkish Cypriot Security Forces responded to CTP MP Asım Akansoy’s written question on the ammunition depot explosion in Çatalköy (Agios Epiktitos).
State negligence in tractor accidents
The two consecutive tractor accidents raised questions about the state’s responsibility for the lack of inspections. Experts, speaking to Kıbrıs accused the official institutions.
- Leaders have agreed the new process will be different – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment and determination to achieve a settlement based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality.
The way for a five-party meeting opened
The best possible outcome has been achieved from the trilateral meeting in Berlin. The two leaders met under the auspices of the UN two-and-a-half years later. UN Secretary-General first held separate meetings with the two leaders and then hosted the dinner meeting. Following the meeting, Guterres issued a written statement.
Old harbour in agony
The authorities should stop engaging in meaning discussions on tourism and look at the realities. Embarrassing scenes are emerging from the country’s tourism capital, Kyrenia. Repairs on the jetty had been left incomplete. The docks are full of litter and rubbish dumped from the boats.
- They gave hope – Guterres vowed to take steps for a five-party meeting after the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the six-point framework. Akıncı said the process had got back on track.
We put the train back on track
The much-anticipated trilateral meeting in Berlin emphasized that the only solution is a bizonal, bicommunal federation based on political equality. In a statement after the meeting, Akıncı said: “We put back the derailed train on track. We now have to work hand in hand to make sure the solution reaches its final destination.”
- “It’s not a fire or sabotage” – The Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus Command issued a statement on the Çatalköy (Agios Epiktitos) ammunitions depot explosion months later. The statement said the explosion was caused neither by fire or sabotage but due to technical reasons.
UNSG promises to continue efforts towards a federal settlementYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Negotiations Process, Governance & Power Sharing
The much-awaited Berlin trilateral meeting ended on Monday with a promise by UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres to continue efforts towards an agreement on the terms of reference (ToR) so that proper negotiations can resume.
The UN chief reiterated, however, that this time attitudes must be different.
Following a working dinner lasting around two-and-a-half-hours with the two leaders in Berlin, Guterres said both two leaders affirmed their commitment to the Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014, past convergences and the six-point framework he presented on 30 June 2017 with a view to achieving a strategic agreement paving the way forward for a comprehensive settlement.
He announced he would be extending his efforts “to achieve terms of reference to serve as a consensus starting point for phased, meaningful, and results-oriented negotiations at the earliest feasible opportunity”.
Guterres also said he was committed to exploring with the two leaders and the guarantor powers the possibility of convening an informal five-plus-UN meeting at an appropriate stage.
“It is acknowledged that this time must be different,” the UN Secretary-General said.
Guterres said that both leaders had welcomed his engagement and reaffirmed their commitment and determination to achieve a settlement based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality as set out in the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
“The Turkish Cypriot leader and the Greek Cypriot leader, motivated by a sense of urgency, agreed that achieving a comprehensive and durable settlement to the Cyprus problem within a foreseeable horizon is of utmost importance to the future well-being of both communities and that the status quo is unsustainable.
President Akıncı on Monday welcomed the outcome of the trilateral meeting stating that the negotiations process, which had derailed in Crans Montana, was back on track.
“As I stated earlier I hoped to give good news back home. A positive step was taken today. We put the derailed process back on track but this alone is not enough. We need to work together for this train to reach its final destination,” Akıncı said at a press conference in Berlin shortly after the trilateral meeting.
He pointed out that the UNSG’s involvement in the process was important, particularly because he had been reluctant to do so after the collapse of the talks in Crans Montana.
“He felt the need to be engaged. There are important reasons for this, one being the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. As you know the tensions are being experienced over natural gas resources and the Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral activities. The Secretary-General sees how important it is to solve the Cyprus Problem to overcome these tensions,” he added.
Akıncı pointed out that the UNSG will continue his efforts to finalize the Terms of Reference (ToR) as well as to convene an informal five-party conference following talks with the two sides and the guarantor countries.
“I believe this to be important. The continuation of the UNSG’s engagement is important,” he added.
Akıncı also underlined the importance of Guterres’ pledge to increase his efforts and facilitate the beginning of negotiations at the earliest feasible opportunity.
“We are not talking about an open-ended process anymore,” Akıncı said, adding the talks would be phased, meaningful and results-oriented and aimed at reaching a strategic agreement.
“The Secretary-General acknowledged that this time must be different,” he added.
He said that the reference made by the UNSG to the UNSC resolution on political equality and effective participation in decision-making processes was extremely important.
Akıncı also described that the commitment expressed by the UNSG to work towards convening an informal five-plus UN meeting at an appropriate stage was an important development.
He said that UNSG had also put an end to the debate on the Guterres Framework once and for all by stating that his six-point framework had been presented on 30 June 2017.
“The point we have reached is positive but we are at a stage where we need to work for the future. We need to plan the timing of this carefully but assessing the conditions correctly. We need a well-planned process within the framework of the work to be carried out by the Secretary-General,” he added.
Akıncı said that civil society and all sectors of the Turkish Cypriot community needed to chip into this effort.
Stating that it will be possible to start a new process, Akıncı said that a bizonal, bicommunal federation had been confirmed as the basis of the talks.
Asked about a possible date for a five-party conference, Akıncı said that it will be the UN Secretary-General that will undertake the initiative of convening such a meeting but that no date had been mentioned.
He said that the UN Secretary-General will continue his contacts with the guarantor countries to prepare the ground for a five-plus-one meeting.
The leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhürman was the first to comment on the outcome of the meeting.
In a post on social media, Erhürman welcomed the outcome, stating that reference made to a bicommunal, bizonal federation based on political equality, the UNSC resolution on political equality, the recognition of past convergences, the emphasis made for the need for a results-oriented process different from previous processes and the commitment made by the UNSG to convene an informal five-party meeting were all important points.
“Most of these were agreed upon in Crans Montana but the fact that they were confirmed after two years of debate is important. The most important outcome to emerge from this meeting is the end put to the meaningless debate created on the subject of political equality through the initiative undertaken by the UNSG. We should continue to work for a comprehensive solution with all our strength,” he said.
Meanwhile, ahead of the trilateral meeting on Monday, pro reunification group Unite Cyprus Now (UCN) sent a letter to Guterres and the UNSC asking them to work with the leaders to bring an end to the division of Cyprus and to keep the sides within UN parameters, the June 30 framework and past agreements.
In an open letter, the group said almost two and a half years have passed since the talks broke down in Switzerland: “Two and a half years of inaction and waste of time, during which tensions in and around Cyprus have only increased.
“We are aware that the future of Cyprus is ultimately in the hands of our leaders. But we also know that unless the leaders are held accountable for their incompliance with UN parameters and past convergences, there will be no end to this process,” the group said.
UCN said poll after poll demonstrated that Cypriots on both sides wanted to end the division, which is becoming more entrenched and unsafe each passing day. “The sides know almost exactly what a solution will look like. All that is needed is the political courage to take that final step. And your encouragement and adherence to UN parameters and body of work will be instrumental.”
>> Efforts to reach an agreement on the ToR will be extended to pave way for talks. This time the process must must be different.
>> Two leaders affirmed their commitment to 11 Feb. 2014 Joint Declaration, past convergences & 30 June 2017 six-point framework to achieve a strategic agreement paving the way forward for a comprehensive settlement.
>> Will explore the possibility of convening an informal five-plus-UN meeting at an appropriate stage.
>> Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment & determination to achieve a BBF settlement based on political equality as set out in the relevant UNSC resolutions.
>> The two leaders, motivated by a sense of urgency, agreed that achieving a comprehensive & durable settlement to the Cyprob within a foreseeable horizon is of utmost importance to the future well-being of both communities.
>> The status quo is unsustainable.
>> The derailed process has been put back on track but this alone is not enough.
>> There is a need to work together for this train to reach its final destination.
>> UNSG’s involvement in the process is important, particularly after his reluctance following the collapse of the talks in Crans Montana.
>> The tensions over natural gas resources & GC side’s unilateral activities are main reasons behind UNSG’s involvement.
>> UNSG sees how important it is to solve the Cyprob to overcome these tensions.
>> UNSG’s reference to past convergences, UN Security Council resolutions on political equality, BBF as the basis of talks and commitment to finalizing the ToR as well as to convene an informal five-party conference is a positive outcome.
>> The point we have reached is positive but we are at a stage where we need to work for the future.
>> We need a well-planned process within the framework of the work to be carried out by the SG.
>> Civil society and all sectors of the TC community needed to chip into this effort.
>> A bizonal, bicommunal federation had been confirmed as the basis of the talks.
>> Reference to a BBF based on political equality, the UNSC resolution on political equality and recognition of past convergences positive outcome.
>> The emphasis made for the need for results-oriented process different from previous processes important.
>> Commitment made by the UNSG to convene an informal five-party meeting important.
>> We should continue to work for a comprehensive solution with all our strength.
Taçoy warns the international companies in the East MedKıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
External Security, Energy, Regional/ International Relations
“No one can usurp Turkey’s or Turkish Cypriots’ rights in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Economy and Energy Minister Hasan Taçoy said to Turkish daily Milliyet, Turkish Cypriot media reported on Monday.
He warned the international companies and said they might have to pay a heavy price for the steps they take after being deceived by the Greek Cypriots.
Taçoy reiterated that the most feasible project in transferring the natural gas to Europe would be via Turkey.
“Everyone is fully aware of the fact that it is not possible to create an energy corridor in the region without Turkey,” Taçoy added.
He noted the alternative proposed projects on natural gas are too costly.
Taçoy also urged the Greek Cypriot side not to approach the hydrocarbons issue from a political perspective. “Instead, they should approach the issue from an economic point of view,” Taçoy said.
Highlighting that the Turkish side wants the Eastern Mediterranean to be a basin of peace, Taçoy said, “The Turkish Cypriot side’s starting point was a fair approach based on equitable sharing of the resources.”
>> No one can usurp Turkey’s or TCs’ rights in the East Med.
>> The int’l companies might have to pay a heavy price for the steps they take after being deceived by the GCs.
>> The most feasible project in transferring the natural gas to Europe would be via Turkey.
>> Everyone is fully aware of the fact that it is not possible to create an energy corridor in the region without Turkey.
>> GC side should approach the hydrocarbons issue from an economic viewpoint and not from a political perspective.
>> The Turkish side wants the East Med. to be a basin of peace.
>> The TC side’s starting point was a fair approach based on equitable sharing of the resources.
Cause of Çatalköy (Agios Epiktitos) explosion, not fire or sabotageKıbrıs Postası, Afrika
The explosion at an ammunition depot in Çatalköy (Agios Epiktitos) earlier this September was not caused by fire or sabotage but was caused by technical reasons, the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus announced in a statement on Monday.
The Turkish armed forces were responding to a written question put forward by the CTP MP Asım Akansoy.
The statement also said all other munitions; similar to ones which caused the explosion had been moved elsewhere with all precautions taken to prevent future accidents.
It added that all exploded and unexploded munitions collected from the blast zone were being disposed of without disturbing the public’s peace or harming the surrounding area.
All clearing activities at the ammunition depot and its vicinity were planned to be completed by 31 December 2019, the statement said.
Sequestration order for state: £560,000 fineYenidüzen
A court in the north has ordered the TRNC state to pay a fine £560,000 for having wrongfully given the title deed of a property belonging to Maronite Ninos Andoni Yiamakis to another individual in 1986, Yenidüzen reported on Tuesday.
Interior Minister Ayşegül Baybars confirmed the story first reported by Sim TV, stating that the ministry had only become aware of the issue after court’s order. She said the heirs of the Maronite owner filed a lawsuit demanding either compensation payment or revoking of the unlawfully given title deed.
“The interior ministry has adopted the position that the Maronite properties cannot be treated like other Greek Cypriot properties therefore the said property must be returned to the lawful owner. This would be the best solution,” Baybars said.
She noted that the current users of the property do not want to vacate or to return the property either. “As a lawyer, I believe they do not have a good legal argument, but this is my personal opinion,” Baybars added.
She said the Turkish Cypriots have been using the property since 1986 and claiming damages for vacating the property cannot be a legitimate argument.
“The best outcome would be for the two sides to reach an amicable agreement on the dispute but as the ministry, we will also follow through the case to prevent the state from making the payment as ordered by the court, in which the interior ministry was not represented,” Baybars concluded.