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How the Mont Pèlerin Summit came to a deadlock

30 November 2016

Two Turkish diplomats who were following the process of the Cyprus Summit at Mont Pèlerin, Switzerland relayed detailed information on the negotiations back to Ankara as they happened.

According to a report by Turkish daily ‘Milliyet’ correspondent in north Cyprus Sefa Karahasan, Ankara had been shocked by the fact that President Akinci had negotiated to reduce the amount of Turkish Cypriot held territory from 36% to 29%. The TRNC Prime Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun, after he met with Turkish President Erdogan, said that “there cannot be any concessions on the issues of guarantees and territory”.

The summit was interrupted when President Nicos Anastasiades asked for a week’s recess so that he could confer with Greek Cypriot party leaders and with Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras.

Akinci, upon his return to the TRNC, sent the message to Anastasiades that “it is his turn [to compromise]”.

According to ‘Milliyet’, President Akinci returned to the second summit in Mont Pèlerin thinking that the Greek Cypriot side would offer some compromise. However, on his way back to Switzerland, Akinci had met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in the small hours of the morning in Istanbul. At that meeting it became apparent that President Anastasiades could abandon the summit, without any results, after the Greek Prime Minister demanded that Turkey withdraw its troops before Greece came to the five-party meeting on security and guarantees.

At the second summit, Akinci noticed a change in Anastasiades’ behaviour. No photographs of the two leaders together were taken, the customary handshake was avoided.

When the summit resumed, the Greek Cypriot leader laid down the conditions for the five-party meeting as demanded by Greece, as the Turkish Cypriots had anticipated.

Akinci objected to the conditions of “removing the guarantees and the final withdrawal of the military”.

Thus the summit came to a halt.

Karahasan also wrote that President Anastasiades had implied that he might accept the map that had been agreed in the 2004 Annan Plan. In light of this, Akinci said that guarantees and a rotating presidency were also included in the plan. He asked the Greek Cypriot president if he accepted those. Anastasiades said that he did not accept those conditions.

Akinci said “you will take what you want, but you say no to the rights of the Turkish Cypriots”.

After mutual disagreement on the number of refugees who could return to the north, and following consultation with Ankara, it was announced that the summit was at a dead end.

Milliyet

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