British High Commissioner in Cyprus, Irfan Siddiq said there’s still a viable prospect for a settlement that will create a unified federal state under which Turkish Cypriots will be able to exercise their inherent right to sovereignty.
Mr Siddiq spoke to Cyprus Today on various issues.
Asked why the UK still supports a federal solution to the Cyprus problem, Mr Siddiq responded by saying: “For a country as small as Cyprus, a unified state will just be much more effective in terms of how it will operate. “The signal it sends, of course, around.. our ability to resolve problems rather than cement them. . . as a diplomat that’s something I’d like to see. “And, you know, it’s clear that the EU expected when the Republic of Cyprus entered [the EU], at some point there to be unification so that the North could also enter the EU and I think if that prospect of a unified federal state died, the prospect of the North entering the EU would also die. So there are good reasons to hold on to trying to make one final push to a federal solution.”
Given the growing disparity between the positions of the two sides of Cyprus, Mr Siddiq was asked why he feels that a federal solution is still viable. “The disparity in the two models now and the steps being taken by Turkish Cypriot authorities and Turkey to consolidate that separation of the two models is having an impact,” he said. “And it is making, I think, from what I’ve heard speaking to Greek Cypriots, particularly the leadership, Greek Cypriots realise that the continuation of the current trajectory is not… comfortable for them, because it will only lead to more and more cementing of the division between the two sides. “And it will make the prospects for a settlement less and less likely on the basis of a federal solution. So I think they realise that unless they do something soon to resurrect and revive prospects for a federal solution, it will probably become impossible. ”
According to Mr. Siddiq the step to declare a self-declared separate “TRNC” is not recognised by anybody apart from Turkey and therefore that claimed sovereignty is not recognised in the sense of it constituting the same entity, the self-declared TRNC.
“And I know that’s a difficult message to swallow, but it’s the reality of the TRNC not being recognised by anybody apart from Turkey.”
“My view, the view of my government, the view of the whole international community apart from Turkey, is that there’s still a viable prospect for a settlement that will create a unified federal state under which Turkish Cypriots will be able to exercise their inherent right to sovereignty.”
DIRECT FLIGHTS TO NORTH CYPRUS
He had made it clear that there will be no return to the practice of passengers travelling from North Cyprus to the UK being allowed to wait on the plane during touchdown in Türkiye, even once the new Ercan airport opens.
Asked if the UK could allow direct flights to take place without a solution in Cyprus, he replied that this is “not something the UK can undertake ourselves”.
Citing the “Chicago Convention” on international aviation rules, Mr Siddiq continued by saying that the direct flights issue is “not something that is absolutely contingent on a comprehensive settlement”.
(Source Cyprus Today)