Creating a climate of security, stability and co-operation in the region is crucial for Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkish High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Joseph Borel told Turkish President Ersin Tatar, reiterating his position that the federation The EU cannot participate in the informal pentagon of Geneva because it “has taken part”, since Greece and the Greek Cypriots are its members.
After the two-hour meeting, the Turkish leader said that he raised with Mr. Borrell issues of marketing and marketing of halloumi, marketing of potatoes, supply of sufficient quantities of vaccines, while they also discussed the issue of natural gas with Mr. Tatar repeating that the proposal of the Turkish Cypriot side for joint exploitation and trade of hydrocarbons is on the table.
According to Ersin Tatar, all issues were discussed in detail and there were controversies. “I told him too, we expect the EU to behave and act neutrally.” We see, he continued, that Greece and Greece, as members of the EU, are constantly safeguarding, within the Union institutions, their own interests and for this reason in the informal 5 + 1 meeting “it is not right for the EU to participate with the observer status. “We can not approve of that because we can not expect them to be neutral.”
Despite that, the Turkish leader continued, Joseph Borel told him that the EU sincerely wants to contribute to finding a solution and is aware of the problem, “we have maintained our position”. He also referred to similar statements about the EU made recently by both the Turkish Vice President and the Turkish Foreign Minister.
The informal pentamer is very important and before that a climate of trust should be created, continued Ersin Tatar, citing as an example of such a climate is finding a solution to the issue of halloumi. The Turkish leader referred to the agreement of the two leaders in 2015 on the issue of the registration of halloumi as a product of geographical origin in the EU. The marketing of halloumi produced in the occupied territories can be done, he added, in the same way honey and fish, saying that it is not acceptable for the Republic of Cyprus to exercise control over procedures in the occupied territories. “We also want to sell halloumi and other dairy products in the EU, through the Green Line Regulation, but we will never allow the Greek Cypriots to have jurisdiction in the north.” There is a political sensitivity to the issue, he said, which those in Brussels may not be well aware of, which is why he explained it to Mr Borrell.
In no case, he continued, will the opinion that in Cyprus there is one sovereignty and two administrations (authorities) be accepted. He told him, he said, that in Cyprus there can be a cooperation agreement between two states that will live side by side, based on sovereign equality. Such an agreement, he continued, will help create a lasting peace inside the island but also security and stability in the region.
Mr. Borrell added that he is also working with Turkey on this issue, which concerns the wider region, in which Turkey is the strongest country – as he said – with the largest coastline.
On the issue of vaccine supply, the Turkish leader told the European official that there is an injustice. While on the Greek Cypriot side, he added, more than 100,000 vaccines have been sent to the Turkish Cypriots and a total of 10,250 doses have been given, considering that it is much less than the amount allocated to them. “At least three times as much should have been taken.” The European official, Ersin Tatar added, discussed it with President Anastasiadis. “Our interlocutor is not Mr. Anastasiadis, it is the EU. I told him, we want to get these vaccines directly from the EU.”
“Of course, he added, Turkey has sent 100,000 doses to the pseudo-state so far, everyone knows that,” he told Mr Borrell. “But one thing is another, another is another.”
To Mr. Borel, he said, he also raised the issue of financial support, saying that there is injustice in this as well, since after the pandemic, a lot of money has been given to the Greek Cypriots and much less to the Turkish Cypriots. In order to do justice to the issue, he added, EU support for the Turkish Cypriots should be increased.
He also raised the issue with the European official of the obstacles that – as he said – posed by the Greek Cypriots at the crossings of the roadblocks, on the occasion of the pandemic, not only for people from third countries, but also for EU citizens. of the Green Line Regulation. They themselves are concerned about this issue, said Mr. Tatar, referring to Mr. Borrell.
He even raised the issue of the 2,000 tons of unallocated potatoes left in the occupied territories because, due to the pandemic, the person in charge of the required control could not come from the EU to be exported to the Union. If that check can be done, the potatoes can be exported, he said, adding that Mr Borrell said he would look into the matter.
Returning to the Cyprus issue, the Turkish Cypriot leader argued that the Greek Cypriots would never want to share sovereignty, power and natural wealth with the Turkish Cypriots. “Among those who are well aware of this is the EU and especially Mr. Borel has a lot of experience.”
“Of course we have alternatives. We worked hard for an agreement, my generation showed great self-sacrifice “. But, he continued, he told Joseph Borrell that they could continue on their way as “tdbk”, as the pseudo-state called it. “That is, we will not be trapped in a deal just to make it happen.” As for the fact that they can benefit within the EU (through a solution to the Cyprus problem), Ersin Tatar said that he replied (to Mr. Borrell) that they have their own political stance, their own national pride and they will not give up.