Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who has travelled to Occupied Cyprus to attend the ‘celebrations’ on the anniversary of the Turkish invasion of July 20, 1974, characterized the settlement of the Cyprus issue as one of the top priorities of the Turkish foreign policy.
In a joint press conference with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, Mr. Gul said that there are several positive factors for the successful completion of the negotiation process which started on February 11.
He stressed that their goal is the creation of a new partnership state as soon as possible, after conducting simultaneous referenda.
Mr. Gul said that he discussed the talks with Mr Eroglu and the two men reconfirmed the cooperation between Turkey and the pseudostate.
The Turkish President stated that the international community knows very well that the Turkish side does its best to reach a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.
He noted that the Cyprus problem has been discussed for 50 years with the United Nations present on the island during this entire period. He also pledged that Turkey will continue to support the Turkish Cypriot side until a solution is reached.
Referring to opportunities which have been lost in the past, Mr Gul said that open-ended negotiation processes often lead to lost opportunities and stressed that he wishes to conclude negotiations with a determined schedule.
He added: “If a partnership-driven solution is not possible, then other alternatives should be on the table – we should consider negotiating different solution alternatives.”
Gul also said that the tragic events in the Middle East should act as a catalyst for peace-making efforts in Cyprus.
However, the Turkish President also said that Turkey will never approve a model where Turkish Cypriots would live as a minority under Greek Cypriot control.