Turkish Cypriot leader awaiting answer over Guterres Framework
In his speech marking the completion of his third year in office on April 30, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı said that “If the Greek Cypriot side is ready to accept the Guterres Framework as it is, without any alterations, it should say so without delay. In that case, we can announce it as a strategic package agreement."
The framework paper issued by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres includes six topics regarding reunification talks between the Turkish and Greek sides in terms of security, troops, territory, property, equal treatment and power-sharing. The most notable issues regarding Turkey are the abolition of the right to intervene and the treaty of guarantee, and the withdrawal of Turkish soldiers from the island, except one 650-member brigade.
The Greek Cypriot administration has not given any positive response to this call yet.
Hami Aksoy, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson, stated that the reunification of the divided island as a federation was improbable with the current Greek Cypriot approach and recommended that alternatives should be sought to resolve the half-century-long ethnic division.
“As long as Greek Cypriots do not change their mindset, we are not planning to play the same game,” Aksoy said on May 3, referring to the collapse of many rounds of peace talks, including the most recent Cyprus Conference in Crans-Montana in the Swiss Alps in June 2017.
“The 50-year-long Cyprus negotiation process has become a vicious circle in which no progress can be achieved,” he said.
“We have always tried to be constructive during this process, always tried to be one step ahead; but, we have not reached an outcome due to the Greek Cypriot side’s obvious mentality,” spokeperson added, insinuating that the recent call made by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı to admit the Guterres Framework did not change anything.
Kudret Özersay, deputy prime minister and foreign minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, stated that the ministry and the government were not informed in advance about Akıncı’s strategic package agreement. He added that "We are sorry to say that we were informed about it by the press".
He also stressed "the importance of co-operation and dialogue between the various institutions of the state" on social media.
Former Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu criticized Akıncı’s proposal, claiming that renouncing Turkey's full and effective guarantees means would jeopardise the security and the future of Turkey, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Turkish nation.
Diplomatic efforts to reunite Cyprus have failed since the island was riven in a 1974 Turkish army intervention as a guarantor power triggered by a coup by Greek Cypriots seeking union with Greece.