President Mustafa Akinci has said that the resumed Cyprus negotiations and the four scheduled meetings ahead were crucial and added that he expected the UN to take on a more active and supportive role during this period.
Akinci referring to the negotiations at an event he attended over the weekend, he said that now the intention to mark the Enosis Plebiscite held 67 years ago, had somehow been removed, the President said “the talks were resumed despite some people’s view that they should have been delayed.”
Emphasising that he did not want any arbitration or to fill in chapters like in the Annan Plan, Akinci said “however the UN by making use of the experience it has gained through more than 60 leaders and 100 negotiators meeting held in the past two years it could increase convergence through supporting ideas”.
The President also commented on the two important issues which were brought to the agenda by the Greek Cypriot side.
Commenting on the news regarding the functionality of a federation, Akinci said:
“Of course the functionality and interoperability of every state is very important. However in a federal structure it was not enough to have representatives at organs from both sides. When those organs are determined it is important to have participation in the decision making mechanism. Even the faintest voices should be listened to in a unitary state. When I say a minimum positive vote is needed on some issues, there are people who reject this, but this means active participation in the decisions. You will then become a factor but there is no bit part in federations. A partnership can happen with active participation. Only then a state could be functional.”
The President also clarified the Greek Cypriot side’s claims that the Turkish Cypriot side demanded four freedoms for Turkey and said:
“There is no such thing. It is not something that’s impossible but it is exaggerated. Unfortunately, the Greek Cypriot side conveyed the issue to Brussels but the EU had a more realistic approach on the issue. When they listened to us about the issue, they understood that it is not a big deal and that it is about protecting the pre-1960 Turkish-Greek equilibrium on the island.”
Touching upon the issue of a time table at the negotiations, Akinci noted that the Greek Cypriot side did not accept any time table or date, however added that the negotiations could not continue for another 50 years.
Reminding that the natural calendar has proceeded and that Turkey had stated that in case of a non-solution it will also carry similar activities for the natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, Akinci said this was not a threat but a warning.
“Natural gas belongs to both peoples. We can drill and benefit from these in a peaceful atmosphere. That’s why there is a natural calendar and we should finalize the process by July. There will be presidential elections in the South in February 2018 also. When I say this they say “Akıncı is threatening” however the calendar and the differences in the discourse are obvious,” said Akinci
Referring to the attacks against Turkish Cypriot people and their vehicles in South Cyprus, he said security cannot be provided with such attacks.
Stating that the attacks were individual, racist and fascist, the President however noted that 22 incidents had occurred so far.
“It is pleasing that the Greek Cypriot police have filed a lawsuit against racism regarding the latest incident however punishing the offenders will be the biggest gratification,” Akinci added.