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The last mile is always the hardest – Akinci

31 December 2016

President Mustafa Akinci has said that he would be attending the summit in Geneva unwaveringly and determinedly with the goal of establishing a new federal Cyprus where Turkish Cypriots could live equally, freely, securely and where they could exercise their own political will.

The President was speaking at the annual Presidential New Year’s reception hosted for journalists.

Stating that a new year brought new hope, new beginnings and heralded a new term, Akinci drew attention to the various conflicts and problems experienced around the world.

Describing 2016 as a difficult year, the President said that efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus had intensified over the past year.

He added that the date for a five-party conference had been set and a conference on Cyprus had been planned.

Pointing out that the efforts put forward by the Turkish Cypriot side should not be underestimated, the President reminded that crucial meetings will be held in Geneva.

It is not possible to determine how these meetings will be concluded but we shall be attending the talks in Geneva in determination with the goal of establishing a new federal Cyprus where Turkish Cypriots will be able to live in equality, freedom, security and where they can exercise their own political will,” he said.

President Akinci pointed out that a political framework for a settlement plan will emerge if the Geneva talks succeed.

We shall need to fill in the framework of a settlement. A constitution and federal laws will need to be drafted. No doubt strenuous work will be carried out to finalise even the smallest details before the first half of 2017. It is possible to complete all this in a couple of months if the political framework exists. The last mile is always the hardest.” he added.

Akinci stated that several issues relating to territory, security and guarantees, property, rotational presidency under governance and power sharing and active participation in decision making were issues still waiting for an agreement.

The President also underlined the importance of being reasonable and realistic when heading off to the talks in Geneva.

2017 can be made a year for a solution and peace,” he said.

Akinci also pointed out that there was no settlement plan yet on which he could call on the people to support.

However the “no” camps on both sides have already started mobilising,” he said, adding that this was against the interests of the Turkish Cypriot people.

BRT

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