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22 May, 2024
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Tatar proposes bi-communal cooperation on earthquake issue

Insists on T/C's 'sovereign equality' for resumption of talks

Source: CNA

Turkish Cypriot community leader Ersin Tatar will present a proposal for bi-communal cooperation on Thursday during a meeting with Cyprus' President-elect Nicos Christodoulides on Thursday regarding future response to possible earthquakes in Cyprus. He reiterated his position that negotiations on the Cyprus problem can only begin with the acceptance of the "sovereign equality" of the TCs.

The Turkish Cypriot leader made the information public after his meeting with UN Secretary-General Special Envoy Colin Stewart, which took place today at the "presidential residence" in occupied Nicosia and lasted for about an hour.

"I have stated that formal negotiations cannot begin until our sovereign equality is accepted. I'll bring it up again tomorrow because it's the crux of the problem."

Mr. Stewart made no public statements following the meeting. Mr. Tatar explained that the meeting with Mr. Stewart was "in preparation for tomorrow's meeting with me and the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Christodoulides," referring to the President-elect. "We discussed in depth the substance of the Cyprus problem and our expectations at this point," he added.

Tomorrow's meeting, according to Tatar, will focus on future talks on the Cyprus issue as well as future cooperation between the parties. Tatar added that the Turkish Cypriot side's attention is currently focused on the earthquakes in Turkey "At this point, I don't want to comment on the substance of the Cyprus issue. However, I have stated that formal negotiations cannot begin until our sovereign equality is accepted. I'll bring it up again tomorrow because it's the crux of the problem."

The importance of technical committees was also mentioned by the TC leader. "Now that the earthquake is on the agenda, I reminded Colin Stewart today that we should also discuss the possibility of an earthquake in Cyprus tomorrow. I hope this does not happen, but we all know Cyprus is prone to earthquakes. Earthquakes have previously struck Paphos, Famagusta, and Salamina. Nothing indicates that an earthquake will occur in Cyprus in the near future. However, experts believe that seismic activity has shifted to Antioch and that an earthquake may occur here in the future. We must be prepared "He stated.

He went on to say that he told Mr. Stewart that he thought "It is critical to have such cooperation on this small island. I also mentioned the successful work of our Antillean teams. There is a wealth of knowledge. I'm sure (similar) (search and rescue) teams exist in southern Cyprus as well. The (joint) search and rescue work of the emergency teams could be studied to see how they would act (together) in such a situation."

Tatar concluded his statement by repeating his well-known position that "an agreement on Cyprus can only be reached with the cooperation of the two states and that the state in the north must be sovereign, with equal international status."

"If we reach an agreement on this point and make the necessary decisions, we can proceed to formal negotiations. But for the time being, I'd like to convene a meeting and perhaps lay the groundwork for future discussions, emphasizing the importance of dialogue between the two leaders in order for these technical committees to be more effective. And, as I stated to the United Nations tomorrow, I will have a proposal on how to collaborate on the earthquake issue "Tatar came to a conclusion.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  Turkey

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