The two Equal Parties in Cyprus No:131 - August 3, 2000

We are closely following the process of proximity talks which is currently underway in Geneva between the two equal parties in Cyprus. The aim of the proximity talks is to prepare the necessary ground for meaningful negotiations. Only after the creation of such ground can negotiations for a comprehensive settlement be initiated.

President Rauf Denktaş who participates in the proximity talks on behalf of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, has, from the outset, been making a sustained and constructive contribution to the process for preparing the ground, in the context of our common views and positions. The views and position put forward by the President of the TRNC in the context of this process enjoy the full and strong support of the Turkish Government.

Our common approach with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the achievement of comprehensive settlement through the establishment of a two-State Confederation in Cyprus. It is known and accepted by all that there can be no return to pre-1974 period. We are of the opinion that only a confederal framework based on the political equality and sovereignty of the two States in the Island can pave the way for a viable settlement that would ensure the full security of the parties. Such a new partnership can provide the opportunity for the two equal peoples in the Island and their respective States to co-exist in peace and security and to cooperate through the establishment of common institutions in specific fields.

In order to create a common ground which would lead to negotiations, we expect that the two parties mutually acknowledge each other's political and sovereign equality, that neither party represents the other, that neither is entitled on its own to speak for the entire Island, and that neither can claim sovereignty over the other. This would only mean the acceptance of the realities and would pave the way for a viable settlement based on the equal status of the both parties.

As one of the two motherlands and a Guarantor Power, our strong support to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and to H.E. President Rauf Denktaş will continue in the search of a settlement within this framework.