President Ersin Tatar on Thursday said that a solution in Cyprus can only be based on the realities on the island and the sovereign equality of two states.
Tatar was speaking to reporters after meeting with British Minister for the European Neighbourhood and the Americas Wendy Morton.
Stating that he had found the opportunity to convey the Turkish Cypriot side’s views in favour of a two-state solution based on equal sovereignty with equal international status, Tatar said that he had told Morton, that the UK as a guarantor country in Cyprus with a long-standing history on the island had a great responsibility towards solving the Cyprus Issue.
He pointed out that now that the UK had left the European Union, the time had come for Britain to review its relations with the TRNC and the Turkish Cypriot people, particularly in terms of easing the international embargoes and isolations imposed on North Cyprus.
“I conveyed all these issues to the British Minister,” said President Ersin Tatar, reminding that the former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw had recently admitted what a big mistake the EU had done by allowing the Greek Cypriot side to join the bloc before a settlement had been reached on the island.
Regarding a settlement to be reached on the island, President Ersin Tatar pointed out that it was out of the question to impose a settlement on the Turkish Cypriots by making promises of economic prosperity.
He said that what was important was that any settlement to be reached on the island required the consent of the Turkish Cypriot people.
“What is essential is that Turkish Cypriots can continue to exist on this island under their own sovereign state in security and freedom,” the president said.
He also pointed out that both Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean have changed.
Tatar said that the UK Minister for her part had told him that all participating countries and the UN were currently preparing for the upcoming informal meeting in Geneva and that there will be a need for all sides to show some form of flexibility in order to achieve a positive outcome from the meeting.
“I told Ms Morton that the Turkish Cypriot side has always displayed its good will and flexibility but that it was the Greek Cypriot side which had failed to show the same constructive stance,” he said.
He said nevertheless, the Turkish Cypriot side will continue to work for a just, lasting and viable solution in Cyprus.
Also touching upon the issue of direct flights from the UK, President Tatar pointed out that there were over a hundred thousand Turkish Cypriots living in the UK and over ten thousand UK citizens living in the TRNC.
“As I told the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab during our last meeting, the UK should look into ways of easing restrictions, launching direct flights or establishing commercial ties with the TRNC now that Brexit has been realised. I believe this will have huge benefits to both our countries,” he said.