President Mustafa Akinci continued his contacts in Brussels on Tuesday and met with the President of the European Parliament (EP) Martin Schulz, who told him that the EU is ready to offer every possible support for a solution on the Cyprus problem. A solution that would also benefit the EU, he said. Akinci also met with the Presidents of the EU Commission and the European Council.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Schultz, Akinci argued that the Turkish Cypriots are unhappy with the current status quo and want a solution for future generations. He expressed the belief that they are on the right track for the solution adding that the Turkish Cypriots want a solution because they have been outside international law for many years.
He noted: “We have another reason for the solution. This is the fact that the Turkish Cypriots remained outside the international law for many years. We want our community to be a part and a partner of the EU. We want to be a part of international law and order. Therefore, we are struggling for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on political equality which will protect the interests of both communities”.
Arguing that they are achieving results in the negotiations, Akinci said: “We are approaching the final target which is the comprehensive solution, I believe that the EP will support this process like it did in the past”.
In his statements, Schultz said that the negotiations are being held in an “intensive, friendly and open to new ideas environment” and expressed the EP’s satisfaction with the steps taken towards a comprehensive solution, wishing Akinci success in his new role. “We will do everything we can for the successful conclusion of the negotiations”, he noted describing the fact that both leaders are in favour of a bi-communal, bi-zonal solution based on political equality as an opportunity. “Both communities are being administrated by leaders who have supported the Annan solution plan [submitted to referendum in 2004] and these persons are struggling for the reunification of the country”, he said adding that “we want to see a bi-zonal, bi-communal solution”.
In his meeting with the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, Akinci discussed the further development of relations with the EU and the Turkish Cypriots in all fields so that the Turkish Cypriots are prepared to join the EU. They discussed also the contribution of the comprehensive solution in Cyprus to regional stability. It was also argued that the advancement of relations between the Turkish Cypriots the EU would contribute to the solution process.
Meanwhile, within the framework of his contacts in Brussels, Akinci met yesterday with Syed Kamall, President of the European Conservatives’ and Reformists’ Group in the EP, Rebecca Harms, Co-Chairperson of the Greens’ Group, Fank Engel, Luxembourgian MEP with the European People’s Party and Henry Malosse, Chairman of the European Economy and Social Committee.
It was noted that at a working breakfast with Malosse they discussed the development of the committee’s relations with the Turkish Cypriot civic organisations and the benefits of their participation in the EU institutions.
In the meetings with the representatives of the groups in the EP, the Turkish Cypriots asked for their support in the solution process and the participation of the Turkish Cypriots as observers at the European Parliament.