In exclusive interview to Turkish press, Cyprus High Commissioner tells Londra Gazete
Originally published 11 December 2014
Peace in Cyprus would have been achieved long ago if it was up to the Cypriots themselves, according to the highest ranking Greek Cypriot in Britain.
In a wide-ranging interview with Londra Gazete, the first from a Republic of Cyprus official since negotiations were suspended last month, High Commissioner Euripides Evriviades admitted he had objected to recent meetings between UK and Turkish Cypriot government officials.
He held Turkey responsible for last month’s suspension of peace talks although he praised Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Turkey’s foreign minister, as “impeccably good”.
But the high commissioner was adamant a peace deal could still be achieved: “I may not be able to agree about the history of the past. I want to be able to agree about the history of the future: that we have a common vision as Cypriots.”
‘TRNC NOT TURKISH CYPRIOTS’
The interview with Mr Evriviades at the Cyprus High Commission in central London is the first from a Republic of Cyprus official to the Turkish media in more than a year.
He used the occasion to repeat traditional Greek Cypriot positions – such as his country’s refusal to recognise the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in any capacity.
“The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – quote unquote – is not the Turkish Cypriots. It’s a big difference for us,” he said.
He admitted he had personally objected to the UK government when meetings were held between Turkish Cypriot leaders and the Europe minister, David Lidington.
“When [Özdil] Nami came here – nothing personal against him. We go way back with Özdil. We participated together in an inter-communal workshop in 1980s, when it was not fashionable.
“So it’s nothing personal against Özdil Nami. It’s what he represents and what he holds. He came here as the foreign minister of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. I have a huge problem with that.”
Read the full story online: http://goo.gl/Yxqb8K