Armed peacekeepers no longer needed: Turkish Cyprus
Foreign minister of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus suggests bilateral cooperation with south over federal model
By Kasim Ileri
The foreign minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has called for turning the UN peacekeeping mission on the island into a civilian mission.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Kudret Ozersay, who held meetings with UN officials and diplomats in the U.S., said the military mission was no longer necessary, adding the “changing circumstances” required a revision of the current peacekeeping forces on the eastern Mediterranean island.
Underlining that the presence of the roughly 800 UN forces on the island was costly, the minister stressed its role as a deterrent against armed confrontation could be achieved by a civilian mission at half the current cost.
“We believe there is no need for
The minister said there is a general opinion in the UN that the functions, powers
Drilling in Eastern Mediterranean
Touching upon the current dispute on hydrocarbon extraction in the eastern Mediterranean, Ozersay noted that the issue could become an opportunity for dialogue between the two sides.
He underlined that in the absence of bilateral agreement on drilling rights, companies could lose resources and time, and tensions could escalate in the region.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Turkish Cypriots also have rights to the resources in the area.
Bilateral cooperation over
Suggesting that a partnership based on cooperation may be more feasible between the north and the south of the island, Ozersay said the Greek Cypriots’ reluctance to share power and wealth made a federal model “impossible.”
“If you do not want to share governance and wealth you cannot make a federal partnership,” he said, adding that cooperation in energy and fighting terrorism and organized crime could lead to interdependency between the two sides and “ultimately lead to a comprehensive solution to the dispute.”Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.