The latest statement made by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell who expressed disappointment over the Maraş initiative and stated that a federation was the only basis for a solution in Cyprus received strong reaction from the Office of the President.
A statement issued by the President’s office said that Borrell’s statements made on Sunday, November 15 just showed how disconnected the EU was from the realities in Cyprus and how biased he was against the Turkish Cypriot side.
It also noted that the EU had proven “with its approach based on solidarity among member states,” that it could not contribute to the solution efforts on the island in any way.
“As for the UN Secretary-General’s Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric, he has only repeated the usual views expressed by the UN on the Cyprus Issue and Maraş, calling on the two sides to refrain from unilateral actions which might disrupt the process,” it said.
The statement recalled that the decades-long efforts to find a bicommunal, bizonal federal solution on the basis of political equality have so far failed and that all participants including the EU foreign policy chief had personally witnessed the collapse of the latest process in Crans Montana in 2017.
It added that all proposals and documents presented during the talks had then been withdrawn and the UN Secretary General had asked the sides to enter into a period of reflection and to come back with clear and new ideas on what they wanted to do.
“In the meantime, the Turkish Cypriot people have elected a leader who has been advocating for a two-state solution based on sovereign equality,” the statement noted, adding that the results of the elections showed that the Turkish Cypriot people were determined to change the status quo.
“The Turkish Cypriot side which has accepted all the solution proposals put forward by the UN to date despite still being subjected to isolations and embargoes, has reminded to the entire world its right to determine its own fate with new policies,” the statement stressed.
It urged all the relevant parties to respect the Turkish Cypriot side’s political will for a two-state solution that is based on sovereign equality and the collaboration of the two sides.
“Let us remind all parties once again that it has been the Greek Cypriot side which has rejected all solution proposals to date. Despite having rejected the 2004 UN sponsored solution plan it was rewarded with EU membership. We nevertheless expect the EU to acknowledge this injustice and imbalance, to derive lessons from its historic mistake and to adopt a more balanced and sensitive policy towards the two equal peoples in Cyprus,” the statement stressed.
On the issue of Maraş, the statement drew attention to the past processes during which the fenced-off town had been included in confidence-building measure (CBM) packages.
“However all the proposals on Maraş were all rejected by the Greek Cypriot side, making the town a symbol of the non-solution on the island,” the statement read.
Explaining the details of the Maraş initiative, the statement reiterated that the project’s goal was to return the properties through the Immovable Property Commission to their lawful owners.
It said that the move should be evaluated positively not only from a legal perspective but also in terms of human rights.
The statement reminded that the plan to reinstate the properties will be carried out through the Immovable Property Commission which is recognized by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as an effective legal domestic remedy.
It added that the Greek Cypriot side should be held responsible as the side harming the dialogue on the island with its unilateral actions.
“It is our expectation that both the EU and the UN looks at the developments in Cyprus from the right perspective and be unbiased thus contributing to efforts to create a conducive environment to find a realistic, fair and lasting agreement on the island,” the statement concluded.