It is not possible to recognize two states in Cyprus and the pseudo-state, said the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom in Nicosia, Irfan Siddiq, in an exclusive interview with Jenny Duzen.
< p>According to the GTP, theBritish High Commissioner added that “the Turkish Cypriot leadership must be very clear, What does it want? If their position is 'we want sovereign equality and equal international status', it is not possible to give this: Well, then what will you offer your people? The recognition of tdvk? And that is not possible. You will not be able to ensure the acceptance of two states, because there are international norms and international law”.
Noting that things get more difficult as time goes on, the “realities on the ground”, the demographic structure and the economic structures and the integration of the occupied area of Cyprus with Turkey is progressing, Irfan Siddiq said that the division between the two sides on the island is growing and for this reason “we have to see the urgency of the situation”.
Irfan Siddiq expressed the view that what is important when you refer to negotiations is not only what is said, but what are the core interests that need to be met and that “the core interests of the two sides have not changed. In my opinion, the Greek Cypriots also see that the division on the island is deepening and are worried that the division will become more permanent if no solution is found, the north will be lost and in the end it could become an extension of Turkey”.
Describing the appointment of UN Secretary-General Maria Angela Holguin Cuellar's personal envoy as an important development, Irfan Siddiq said leaders must bear in mind that they have a responsibility to the Cypriot people, who have been suffering from division for years and work towards finding a solution.
Arguing that most of the differences between the two sides are the result of a lack of trust arising from past failures, the British High Commissioner said both sides had shown interest in reaching an agreement on the basis of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation in the past and expressed the opinion that the basic interests have not changed.
He said the UN Secretary-General's personal envoy's job would be to find out and test some things, and expressed hope that a way back to negotiations could be found. “The task of the personal envoy is to investigate whether there is common ground for the resumption of talks,” he said, expressing the opinion that this is possible.
“The essential issue is to close the gap between the sides,” he noted. saying that there will be pressure on the leaders if the people put on the floor what they want.
No serious negotiations have been held since 2017, he noted. “It is clear that the Turkish Cypriot leadership accepted this appointment only under certain conditions and I think, from what I hear from them, they probably want to use this appointment to show that there is no common ground. That seems to be their preference. So I think this is a difficult task. But if we look at the instability and conflicts in the world, I hope it will mean a greater push and encouragement for both sides to find a solution. Because we have seen that conflicts that seem frozen or inactive, do not always stay that way”.
He noted that the Greek Cypriot side accepted the UN Secretary-General's personal envoy's terms of reference and despite the fact that they believe her task should be to focus on the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, they did not put this clearly in the terms of reference her. “Of course they want to return to the bi-zonal bi-communal federation, but they have shown this flexibility and I hope that when the envoy comes we will see more flexibility in terms of confidence building measures. The President of the Republic of Cyprus spoke of a package of measures for the Turkish Cypriots. When the envoy arrives I think we will see that too. I hope that steps like this will change the climate”.
In response to a question, Irfan Siddiq said that the positive dynamics in Greece-Turkey relations should have a positive effect for Cyprus, but “we must see goodwill from all the key players”.
Arguing that Turkey has lost its confidence in the seriousness of the Greek Cypriotside on the issue of finding a solution, expressed the view that “therefore some things must be done to convince Turkey that it will be worthwhile to resume negotiations”.
Asked to comment on the reason for the termination of some privileges to the Turkish Cypriot community in Pyla after BREXIT, Mr. Siddiq replied that this is due to the fact that the border between the Republic of Cyprus and the British bases is now also an external border for the EU, that they were forced to negotiate with the EU how they would control that border and that they thus set new restrictions.
Asked about Russians living in the occupied territories, the opening of a consular affairs office by Russia and the possibility of flights between Moscow and the illegal airport in Tymbu, Irfan Siddiq said that he did not have definite information, but after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Russia by the West, it became more difficult for Russians to live in the Republic of Cyprus.
Noting that the reason for the increase in population and investment of Russians in the occupied territories is that there “they are more comfortable “, the British diplomat said that this is why there is a reference to “consulate” and direct flights.
“As much as direct flights are very complicated because of the Chicago Convention and legal reasons, we also offer we consular services in the north. This does not mean that we have an office that recognizes tdvc, we do not recognize it”. That is, he continued, you can offer consular services without recognition. “And I think that's what the Russians are planning to do as well. […] I don't think there is anything concrete that indicates that there will be a change in Russia's official relations with the CSTO,” he concluded.