Christodoulides: Ozersay leadership ambitions a negative development for Cyprus

Christodoulides: Ozersay leadership ambitions a negative development for Cyprus

A possible rise of Kudret Ozersay, the "foreign minister" in the Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, to the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community will be a negative development for the Cyprus issue, the country's Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said on Wednesday.

Invited to comment on the dinner that the President of the Republic had with Ozersay on the 4th of June and what was discussed, Christodoulides clarified that it was a social dinner.

"A dinner is neither a bilateral meeting nor negotiations as some want to present it" and wondered why the ‘’foreign minister’’ made the issue public.

"Mr Ozersay recently had a dinner with the Russian Ambassador and presented it on his personal website as if it were a meeting. Does this mean that they adopt their positions" asked Christodoulides deflecting accusations by opposition AKEL that the President is engaging in negotiations with Turkey’s man in Cyprus.

Ozersay opposes a federal solution to the Cyprus problem, currently the only option on the negotiating table while President Anastasiades has shown willingness to explore all options after the failure to reach an agreement at Crans Montana.

Christodoulides also noted autioned that proposals for opening up Varosha, the fenced off city of Famagusta, have been made in the past, but at the same time said that the government does not underestimate the proposal put forward by Ozersay.

Confusion has set in as local media debate the ramifications of the meeting between Anastasiades and Ozersay with political actors on both sides trying to take advantage of the situation on the one hand and manage the fallout on the other.

Following the announcement by Ozersay on Famagusta, speculation grew as to the future political and economic status of the enclaved city.

The Turkish Cypriot approach with regards to Varosha is “totally unacceptable” and promotes partition, said Vasilis Palmas, the Undersecretary to the President.

Palmas was asked to comment on the announcement by Ozersay that a team of experts will enter Varosha to record all property assets.

Palmas said that back in 2014, when then US Vice President Joe Biden was visiting Cyprus “we were very close to a deal regarding the creation of a joint committee on Famagusta comprising Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, as well as foreign experts, a deal that was overturned in the last minute by Ozersay.”

[Kathimerini Cyprus]

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