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Akinci concerned about lack of time frame for talks – Updated*

26 September 2016

President Akinci has expressed some reservations about the meeting between himself, President Anastasiades and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday.

He said that that he would have preferred that Ban’s press statement had included a time frame. It “could have been better had we included some dates but Greek Cypriots are not and have never been too keen on calendars in general”, he said.

*Turkish daily ‘Hurriyet’ reports that there were tense moments during the one-and-a-half-hour trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 71st General Assembly of the United Nations, after Anastasiades strongly opposed a calendar in order to produce a road map for the forthcoming stages of the peace talks in Cyprus.

After meeting with Ban on September 24, Akinci said he expected a “road map” to be agreed to during the trilateral meeting to turn recent progress in the talks into a “real success story.”

Asked if a road map had been prepared Akinci said that “this is the road map.” The parties will hold intensified talks during October, then contact the UN Secretary-General in order to change the format.

He repeated that everyone knew there was not much time left and that the Turkish Cypriot side would expect the Greek Cypriots to do their share as the objective is to reach a settlement.

Akinci expressed concern over missing the 2016 goal, saying that “if the objective is missed and we enter into 2017 without any solution, I am afraid the solution would be postponed and other things could enter into the future discussions.”

The rotating presidency is an integral part of political equality, therefore, any solution that does not include the rotating presidency would not be accepted, the Turkish Cypriot president said.

President Anastasiades said that he was “completely satisfied” with the outcome of the meeting. It had provided the opportunity to relay to Ban what progress that had been achieved in the negotiations, but also to point out the existing differences. No time frame had been imposed, but they would strive to find a solution before the end of 2016. The negotiations continue to be within the province of the Cypriots, he said.

Cyprus Weekly, Hurriyet

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