President Mustafa Akıncı and the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades held their last planned leaders meeting for May.
The meeting which was held at the UN building reserved for the negotiations in the buffer zone in Lefkoşa lasted for five hours.
Speaking to the press upon his arrival to the Presidential Palace, President Akıncı said that the aim of the Turkish Cypriot side was to conclude the Cyprus negotiations which had been ongoing for two years and which the UN Secretary-General had referred to as having made “unprecedented progress”.
Explaining that he had proposed that the Geneva Summit reconvenes in June and that this had been rejected by the Greek Cypriot leader, he said that he had also made a proposal on the methodology of the talks, however, he added that this was also rejected by the Greek Cypriot leader claiming that “this is a tested methodology.”
“We made a proposal on the methodology of the talks. I have been saying for a long time that it is not possible to reach any point at this stage by tackling the issues one by one and that no progress has been achieved not only at the leaders’ level but at the negotiators’ level also. Therefore, I have been saying that a package approach could lead us to a conclusion,” Akıncı said.
“If we want a solution there is no other alternative left as all other methods have been tried. All possible progress has been made during the last two years of talks. The model we proposed is an approach which hasn’t been applied before. I had difficulty understanding Anastasiades who referred to this as something that had been tried before. There was never a package approach and an approach to reach a conclusion through give and take. But, this is what it should be now. However, we saw that the Greek Cypriot leader has a perception that ‘there is no need to retry the tried methods and I am really having trouble understanding this,” said the President.
Akıncı also added that this approach fully complied with the 11th February 2014 agreement.
He also said that the Greek Cypriot side’s attempts to continue unilateral hydrocarbon explorations in the divided island was “very problematic” and would “trigger new tensions”.
“Our offer to postpone the explorations planned for July was also rejected”, he added.
Referring to the Greek Cypriot leader’s statement that they had actually submitted a constructive proposal, Akıncı said “today the Greek Cypriot leader did not come up with a constructive or creative offer, but with preconditions instead.”
“Let’s go to Geneva with the same approach, we saw what happened in Mont Pèlerin. Greece first accepted some proposals and then said these can be negotiated. This kind of understanding at the negotiations cannot be accepted. I know exactly what Anastasiades is saying but I will not clarify it, he will do that in his own time. To us he is displaying a stance and proposals that cannot be accepted by any Turkish Cypriot leader,” said Akıncı and warned that if the Greek Cypriot leader does not change his stance then not only he himself but any other future Turkish Cypriot leader will never negotiate with them.
President Akıncı also told the press that the UN Secretary General’s special Adviser for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide will continue holding contacts between the two sides.
“UN Envoy Eide will inform the UN regarding the developments that have taken place today and evaluate the issue. We expect the UN to be biased and objective. We believe the first thing Eide needs to do is to evaluate the situation objectively and inform the UN Secretary General,” said Akıncı.
Explaining that he did not want the process to drag on for another 50 years, President Akıncı said that the time had come to conclude the process and that he had proposed a method where an outcome could be reached.