The two community leaders continue to meet ahead of the Cyprus summit scheduled to take place in Geneva on 9th January.
President Mustafa Akinci and the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades held a four hour meeting on Thursday.
Afterwards, President Akinci spoke to journalists and assessed the meeting.
Noting that the leaders and negotiators were continuing to meet before the critical talks in Geneva begin on 9th January, the President said that so far, the leaders had met twice and the negotiators three times.
He also said that he will be meeting again with Mr. Anastasiades on 4th January but added that the leaders would also hold another meeting if needed.
Akinci said that the negotiators had presented a report of the seven meetings they had held so far during yesterday’s meeting and that they in return had exchanged views on these issues.
Stating that the meeting was held in a positive atmosphere, the President expressed the hope that a comprehensive solution will be reached as a result of the upcoming Geneva talks.
Responding to a question, Akinci pointed out that the two sides did have different positions on the security and guarantees issue, but that this was not a secret and was voiced.
The President stressed that it was important that an issue which constituted security for one side should not become an issue of threat for the other side.
“We do not want our security to be put at risk. We do not want this for the other community either. What’s needed to be done is to negotiate with reason and to abstain from imposing one side’s position on the other side”, he added.
Responding to claims that the Greek Cypriot side is preparing to launch new natural gas exploration efforts, the President underlined that wealth to be derived from the Cyprus hydrocarbons belonged to both peoples on the island.
Stressing that the most rational way was to combine Cyprus and Israel’s gas, once a solution was reached, and transport it to Europe via Turkey, he said this would be beneficial for the whole region.
“Our expectation is that the natural gas issue will not cause any trouble before this critical summit”, Akinci said, urging everyone to act with common sense.
Also responding to a question regarding the participants at the Cyprus Summit in Geneva, the President said that it was clear that the two sides in Cyprus and the three guarantor powers will be at the table, adding that other relevant parties would be invited to join if the need arose.