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Is it game over for the talks?

14 November 2016

The Cypriot community leaders’ summit at Mont Pèlerin in Switzerland was supposed to be an “end game” but has nearly turned out to be “game over”, writes journalist for Turkish daily ‘Hurriyet’ Yusuf Kanli.

The talks were suspended for one week, as requested by President Nicos Anastasiades.

The idea of holding the ongoing negotiation abroad was to maintain a media blackout. The Turkish Cypriot media has been kept in the dark, however, there has been plenty of information, thanks to continuous leaks by the Greek Cypriot media, Kanli writes.

Constant leaks by the press has been a persistent problem. However, recently President Akinci has been sharing some information on the talks with selected journalist who are “subservient to his “Settlement now” obsessive and defeatist stance”, as Kanli describes them.

He summarises the latest talks by writing that Akinci did not put a map on the table but made some “very important” openings on the territorial aspect of the problem. So much so that “that the two leaders came to the brink of deciding on a date for the international conference, where Turkey, Greece and Britain, the three guarantor powers, would participate to discuss the sixth chapter of the talks, security and guarantees. Thus, the over-50-years-old Cyprus talks process was about to come to a conclusion, an agreement on a federation or what? No one knows, except if the talks collapse, that will be the end of the road for at least the current format.”

Kanli asks why, if Akinci had made such significant concession, did President Anastasiades want a week-long break. He goes on to imagine that if President Akinci had asked for such a break, he would have been roasted for it, or Turkey would have been criticised for not letting him make a decision. However Anastasiades said he needed time to consult Greece, the Greek Cypriot party leaders and the archbishop of the Church of Cyprus.

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Hurriyet – Yusuf Kanli

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