Talks failed due to Christofias, Talat says
AA PhotoTalks on a solution to Cyprus’ decades-old problem failed during the tenure of Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat due to the ambivalent attitude of Greek Cypriot counterpart Demetris Christofias, according to the north’s former leader.
Talat told the Hürriyet Daily News in his Nicosia office that he had repeatedly warned Christofias a golden opportunity would be missed if headway was not made in talks during his presidency. “He just did not listen … He was having difficulty making a decision, as always. We call such people ‘çıkırbüküm’ [ambivalent].”
Küçük echoes remarks
The former leader said that irrespective of who wins the upcoming February presidential elections in Greek Cyprus, he did not have great expectations for a compromise settlement based on the political equality of the two communities of the island.
Echoing Talat, conservative Prime Minister İrsen Küçük said in a separate interview that unless Greek Cypriots went through a mental transformation and acknowledged their role in the creation and evolution of the Cyprus problem and agreed to the political equality of the two peoples, there would be no settlement.
If Christofias had made difficult decisions and stopped dragging his feet a breakthrough would have been achieved, because the Greek Cypriot leader was determined to make painful compromises for the sake of his people’s well-being, Talat said.
Christofias was elected with the promise of delivering a settlement, but his indecisiveness frustrated all opportunities for a solution, Talat said. Talat said the “responsible minister” in Turkey should also explain to Europeans that the union must demand meaningful steps from the south toward a resolution in exchange for bailing out the country’s crisis-ridden economy.
The former leader complained that while Greek Cypriots were staging a play for a global audience, current Turkish Cypriot President Derviş Eroğlu and his negotiating team were engaged in a show addressed to the domestic audience.