President Mustafa Akinci held a briefing for media representatives on Wednesday morning to summarise progress on the Cyprus negotiations.
Noting that a number of concrete steps have been taken on the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) issue, Akinci explained that these CBMs included the sharing of information regarding minefields, the lifting of using visa slips at the borders, the interconnecting of power grids, island wide network coverage for mobile phones, ending radio frequency clashes and the opening of new border crossing points.
He also pointed out that the technical committees on cultural heritage and gender equality is working intensively and reminded that he had attended some cultural events with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.
Stressing that the main goal of the negotiations is to reach a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem, Akinci said that speculative reports have been published in the Greek Cypriot press from time to time and noted that they are unreliable.
Akinci, who said “Our aim is to achieve results and not to torpedo the process”, added that the parameters of the solution have been discussed for years and they are clear. “We remain committed to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal settlement“, he said, reminding everyone that this is what he has been defending ever since running for the presidency.
Stating that much progress has been achieved on the chapter of governance and power sharing, Akinci said that they have not yet reached an agreement on the issue of rotational presidency, and added: “This issue is an indispensable part of our political equality”.
Also pointing out that the issues of property and guarantees have been under discussion for years, Akinci said that property will be the last item on the list to be negotiated.
On the issue of guarantees, he said that this issue has to be discussed with the participation of all three guarantor powers. “Of course, all these issues will be discussed when the time comes. Our freedom, political equality and security are extremely important for us. Any agreement to be reached will safeguard all three elements”, he added.
Commenting on various press reports that certain sectors of the TRNC’s population will be shipped back to Turkey, Akinci said that these reports are totally fabricated, as the settlement to be reached will also safeguard the human rights of all residents on the island.
On the issue of territory, Akinci said that only the criteria to be applied to the territory issue have been discussed during the talks, adding: “We have not discussed any percentages, maps, villages, places or areas under the chapter of territory”.
Finally, he also reiterated the fact that the process is a UN led but the support of the European Union is also needed.