Ersin Tatar has the right as leader of the Turkish Cypriot community to have meetings, but the international relations of Cyprus are conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic, said European Commission spokesperson Peter Stano.
The Cyprus News Agency asked him about a recent meeting between the Turkish Cypriot leader and the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, which Nicosia has protested.
“It’s not really for us to comment on meetings by community representatives.
“Mr Tatar is the representative of the Turkish Cypriot community in the non-government-controlled areas of our member state.
“So as a community leader, he can meet people, and this is not for us to comment,” Stano said.
“But when it comes to international relations and international politics of our member state, they are, of course, conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus.”
Invited to comment on Aliyev’s decision to meet with Tatar, Stano said: “Legitimate business between EU and Azerbaijan is of course conducted between the EU and Azerbaijan at the appropriate level.”
On Turkey’s efforts to expand its influence in the occupied areas, Commission spokesperson for structural reforms, Adalbert Jahnz, stressed the best route forward is a comprehensive solution.
He said the EU remains fully committed to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus Problem based on a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality.
“The best way forward is through resumption of UN-led negotiations for a comprehensive agreement”.
The role of the Commission “also involves delivering technical and legal support to the settlement process through the UN” and the aid programme for the Turkish Cypriot community”.
Jahnz underlined the peace process “needs to be led by the parties and by the UN” and that “our role is one of support”.
“We are continuing on this path steadfastly.
“We are delivering our support in all the ways we can.
“These are our actions, and it is really up to the parties and the UN to continue in their responsibilities”.