BY admission of the Turkish Cypriot leader, the Turkish side’s sole aim is to formally partition the island through the establishment of two separate states, Nicosia said.
The government denounced Mehmet Ali Talat’s policy of reunification based on a “partnership of two constituent states”.
“Mr. Talat wants to absolve himself of the July 8 agreement because he seeks a two-state solution,” said Government Spoke-sman Vasilis Palmas.
“He (Talat) may speak of reunification, but what he means and he clearly says so is that two states will form a loose partnership that over the course of time would possibly evolve into a federation.”
In an interview he granted to Phileleftheros, Talat said he envisages a loose partnership between two constituent states based on the “political equality of two peoples”.
He said a looser arrangement at the start would be best because the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot “peoples” don’t fully trust each other.
Palmas said Talat is also trying to shirk his responsibility in implementing the July 8 agreement that he signed up to.
The agreement foresees the creation of committees on from both sides to tackle both day-to-day and core Cyprus issues in order to prepare the ground for a return to full-fledged peace talks.
“He (Talat) wants to abandon the process because with (it’s) implementation, conditions are created for a substantial dialogue on promoting a mutually acceptable solution,” said Palmas.
With the Annan Plan long defunct, Nicosia wants a reworked settlement framework that won’t devolve a hoped-for federated state with a stronger central government into a looser, two-state arrangement.
Nicosia fears that would hamper the inner workings of government, invite foreign meddling and ultimately spell the collapse of the new administration.
In his interview, Talat also claimed that the Turkish military occupation of the island’s northern third no longer contravenes international law after the April, 2004 Annan Plan referendums.
Palmas blasted Talat for a “completely arbitrary and mistaken” interpretation that Turkish Cypriot approval of the UN blueprint absolved the Turkish army of wrongdoing.
“Nowhere in international law do you find anything to support that interpretation. The Annan Plan foresaw its approval by both sides for it to be valid, otherwise it would have no legal validity nor would it set a precedent,” said Palmas.
Condemnation for Talat’s words came swiftly from political leaders including Presidential hopeful Ioannis Kasoulides.
“Reading Mr Talat’s interview it’s obvious that the Turkish side over the last five years has been laying the foundations for the creation of two states in Cyprus,” said Kasoulides.
The ex-Foreign Minister also criticised the government for doing nothing to thwart such an outcome and to rid the island of the occupation.
Nicos Katsourides, spokesman for presidential candidate and Akel Chief Demetris Christofias, express regret over Talat’s remarks in the interview.
Katsourides said the Turkish Cypriot leader’s position are “a complete distortion” of UN decisions on Cyprus, as well as the two high-level agreements of 1977 and 1979, as well as the July 8 agreement.
Edek leader Yiannakis Omirou said with the interview, Talat “fully revealed his partitionist aims” and his complete subjugation to Ankara and its policy line.
“The two states that would enter into a new partnership are indisputable evidence of Talat’s insistence on a partitionist solution in the guise of confederation,” said Omirou.