ΦΩΝΗ ΚΥΠΡΙΩΝ – KIBRISLILARIN SESİ – CYPRIOTS’ VOICE
The Bicommunal Forum “Cypriots’ Voice”, having had a two-day meeting in Agros and having discussed and elaborated on:
- the solution prospects after the election of Mr. Dervis Eroglu as the new leader of the Turkish Cypriot Community and consequently as the Turkish Cypriot negotiator at the intercommunal talks, and
- the political and practical implications of the recent ECHR decision regarding the property issue, and the resurfacing of the “direct trade regulation”,
- have reached the following conclusions:
- Drawing on an informed analysis of opinion poll findings with regard to Turkish Cypriot attitudes during the pre-election period, we believe that the Turkish Cypriot community remains committed to the political will for an early and lasting solution leading to the reunification of our country.
- Notwithstanding Mr Eroglu’s past positions, we take note of the readiness expressed in his letter of 23 April 2010 to the UNSG for the continuation of the talks “from where they were left […] in line with 23 May 2008 joint statement”. ”. We also note with deep concern the “two state approach” in the same letter, which should not dominate the future of the negotiations. Whether the “two state approach” emanates from decision makers of Turkey or be it Mr. Eroğlu’s position, it will not be helpful for any positive developments in the negotiation process. We wish to hope that, the negotiating table will be driven by Mr. Eroğlu’s remarks such as: “The two sides have , at their disposal, a solid UN acquis through decades of negotiations in the form of established parameters and body of work…“
- We expect intensification and acceleration of the negotiation process with a view to reaching an agreement towards the end of 2010.
- In light of the improvement of relations between Turkey and Greece and their declared commitment to a solution on Cyprus, we expect a more active involvement of the governments of Turkey and Greece along with the international community in the efforts towards lifting of all the barriers blocking an early solution, welcoming the efforts under the auspices of the UN and the active participation of the EU.
- As regards the automatic resurfacing of the “direct trade regulation” at the level of EU institutional bodies, we call upon those concerned to refrain from acting in ways that might undermine the negotiation process. What matters for the Cypriots’ Voice is that economic integration within Cyprus and the EU should be achieved. Opening of Turkish ports to Cyprus, in parallel and together with preparing the ground for free trade all over the island should be aiming at effective economic cooperation, joint ventures and economic integration between the two communities. Such developments would create interdependence between the two communities, would improve relationships between communities and with Turkey, and would facilitate solution.
- As for the property issue, we express our deep concern at the fact that valuable time has been wasted because of the two negotiators entrenchment into positions from the outset being incompatible. The ECHR decision, notwithstanding criticism on particular aspects of it, may facilitate the process, as the Court emphasized that the problem “should be resolved by all parties assuming full responsibility for finding a solution on a political level”.
- Negotiations should be transparent. This would facilitate active contribution of civil society in both communities.
- We call upon the two leaders to approach the negotiation process in a win-win spirit aiming at satisfying the needs and expectations of the people of Cyprus as a whole, thus complying with the EU principle of “unity in diversity”.
- We also urge the leaders to take note of the work and contributions of non-governmental organizations and the civil society at large towards peace building and social change.
Cypriots’ Voice – Communiqué no 13 – 25/4/2010