Tatar sent Letter to Guterres:  Alternative formulas for a settlement, including a two-State solution, must be on the table

Tatar sent Letter to Guterres: Alternative formulas for a settlement, including a two-State solution, must be on the table

His Excellency Mr. Antonio Guterres
Secretary-General of the United Nations
New York

Your Excellency,
As the newly elected Chairman of the National Unity Party, the largest political party and the main opposition in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, I am writing to share with Your Excellency the views and position of the relevant organs of our Party on the Cyprus issue as well as the efforts you are undertaking as part of your mission of good offices. At a time when your Special Envoy, Ms. Jane Holl Lute, is in our region to have contacts with the parties concerned, I deem it particularly important that I do so.

As we enter a new era following the failure of the talks in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, last year, I believe that any new process for the solution of the issue must not be a repetition or continuation of the past processes, and must take into full consideration the following:

• Such a process must not be open-ended but have a clear, limited time-table;
• It must be result-oriented within that limited time-table;
• Alternative formulas for a settlement, including a two-State solution, must be on the table;
• It must include a clause for the provision of an international status for the Turkish Cypriot people, in the event that the new process also proves to be inconclusive.

Experience has shown and Your Excellency will appreciate that, as long as the Turkish Cypriot people continue to be subjected to unjust measures of isolation and restrictions, it is not possible to negotiate with the Greek Cypriot side on fair and equal terms, let alone achieve results. Such isolation and restrictions must be lifted as a matter of priority and urgency, levelling the playing field and translating the concept of political equality into clear and practical terms.

You will also no doubt appreciate that the issue of the underwater hydrocarbon reserves around the island of Cyprus is a test case for the Greek Cypriot side in terms of proving its sincerity and willingness to reach a political settlement on the basis of a new partnership of equals. Our Party believes that the Greek Cypriot side must give serious consideration to the Turkish Cypriot proposals for the establishment of an ad hoc committee for the hydrocarbons issue, and must engage in dialogue with the Turkish Cypriot side on this issue, even before any new process starts. Otherwise, we are left to believe that the Greek Cypriot side only pays lip service to a political settlement but is actually after the continuation of the status quo, as it has been up to now, using the negotiating process as a smokescreen to that end.

Let me stress, Your Excellency, that the continuation of the effective and actual, physical Guarantee of Turkey, including the unilateral right of intervention, which saved the Turkish Cypriot people from certain destruction in the past, is a sine qua non for us. The continued presence of a sufficient and deterrent number of Turkish troops necessary for our security is also indispensable and has been named as a red line by our Party Congress. There is no question of our Party sacrificing from these two main pillars of our security, as per the Treaty of Guarantee and of Alliance.

I also wish to emphasize that the maintenance of peace in and around Cyprus rests on the balance between the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots within the island, and between Turkey and Greece around the island. It is of utmost importance, Your Excellency, that while we try to restore the balance between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots through a negotiated settlement, the balance between Turkey and Greece is also preserved.

I would like to conclude by wishing you, your family and the United Nations personnel the best of health and happiness in the New Year.
Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Ersin Tatar
National Unity Party

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