'Greek Cypriots not contributing to Cyprus issue'

Greek side's claim about presence of July 4 document 'groundless', says Turkish Cypriot presidential spox

'Greek Cypriots not contributing to Cyprus issue'

By Murat Demirci

LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Turkish Cypriot presidential spokesman on Thursday accused the southern Greek Cypriot side of not contributing to the Cyprus issue.

In a written statement, Baris Burcu pointed to "a groundless July 4" discussion brought up by the Greek side, adding: "Everyone including the UN knows that there is no such document dated July 4."

Burcu said the only document from the failed 2017 Crans Montana peace talks in Switzerland was Guterres Framework dated June 30.

"As [TRNC President] Mustafa Akinci stated before, if [Greek side] is to play a role from now on, it will have to be handled without trivializing or distorting the issue."

The Guterres Framework is a one-page document which included five major topics such as territory, political equality, property, equal treatment and security guarantees.

Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades claims that he suggested a change to the original framework on July 4.

However, such an amendment does not exist and is not accepted by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus or the UN.

Burcu refuted a high-level meeting on July 4 as attributed by the Greek side and continued: "No common understanding has been reached during negotiations at the date. Therefore, [the Greek side] is on a fool's errand trying to present the Guterres Framework based on non-compromised negotiation.

"It's obvious that these kind of unfruitful discussions of the Greek side are not making any contributions to the Cyprus problem. Our expectation is that the Greek side should leave these out and clarify their vision of Cyprus' future."

Burcu said if, during the meeting on Feb. 26, Anastasiades presents his decentralized federation model, which suggests expansion of the founder states' authorizations, Akinci would sincerely and constructively contribute to his opinions.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including the collapse of a 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the UK.

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