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Akinci cautiously optimistic about negotiations

3 November 2015

President Mustafa Akinci remains cautiously optimistic about finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. Akinci, who hosted a breakfast for Turkish Cypriot journalists on Saturday, made statements regarding the critical November meetings between the two community leaders.

‘Yeni Duzen’ journalist Sami Ozuslu recorded some of his impressions at the breakfast meeting.  He commented that Akinci still seems optimistic, albeit cautiously optimistic and a little less so compared to the period when he was elected.

There is a good dialogue with President Anastasiades, but it could be said that the developments in Turkey and the uncertainty after the 1st November elections has confused the Greek Cypriot side. The impression that the “honey moon” period of the Cyprus negotiations has ended, derives from this perception and concern.

November is critical, because the property issue will be clarified. Akinci did not give any details, but it is understood that during the leaders’ meeting held on Friday, some progress was made, as far as the Turkish Cypriot side is concerned.

Some obstacles exist on the chapters of power sharing, governance and the EU, but they could be overcome. The rotating presidency issue has not been agreed yet, but it is considered definite that it will be settled in correlation with the cross voting.

President Akinci does not think that the issues of security and guarantees will be a serious problem.

The security issue should be based on a “win-win” mentality to be reached on vital issues such as natural resources, electricity and the water, on which the economic interests in the Eastern Mediterranean coincide and not only from a militaristic point of view. Akinci is optimistic that a consensus could be reached on the guarantees.

So far, Ankara has not created any problem for Akinci’s negotiating team.

Akinci believes that November could be decisive. The six meetings between the leaders will be focused on the property issue. The main debate on the property pivots on the “bi-zonality – derogations axis”. The Turkish Cypriot side says that the Turkish Cypriots must be the majority in the area controlled by the Turkish Cypriot state, while President Anastasiades rejects the derogations and “seeks refuge” in the EU and human rights. It is understood that a compromise is being sought on this issue.

Finally, there are different estimates as regards the cost of the solution varying between 20 and 60 billion euro. The money will be used both for compensations and for building homes for the people who will be forced to move.

Yeni Duzen

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