UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited newly-elected Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci to New York for a meeting, Turkish Cypriot media reported on today.
President Akinci’s office issued a statement saying that the Secretary-General had telephoned him and invited him to meet face to face. The date of the meeting has not been set, however.
It’s reported that Ban said he was pleased that talks had resumed and that the leaders had discussed implementing a series of low-level confidence building measures (CBM).
On Sunday Akinci, addressing a bi-communal social event for young people in the TRNC, and greeting some of the participants in Greek, said a tough negotiations process lay ahead.
The leaders are due to meet twice a month with the second meeting scheduled for late next week. Their respective negotiators are set to meet more frequently
“The approach should not be seeing the person sitting before you as your enemy. Our view is to see the person sitting before you as a ‘future partner’ and this is extremely important,” Akinci said.
“Our generations and the generations before us shared pain, blood, tears and suffering on these lands.
Let the future generations share the peace, the blessings and the beauties of this island. I believe that with this mentality our future will be better.”
“This will not be easy, I have to say,” he said at a separate event on Monday. “There are great expectations and I will do it my utmost to respond to them. However, it is a process we must walk together. I won’t use the classical expression about taking two to tango because this gives the message that I am a good dancer. But if your partner steps on your foot, it will not make for a good rhythm.”
Akinci expressed the hope that “with determination and political will”, within a framework of a concrete road map, the necessary progress would be made in the coming months. He also spoke of the CBMs he and Anastasiades would be discussing, and said the leaders had also agreed to set up a joint committee on culture.
Greek Cypriot government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said on Sunday that Anastasiades and Akinci had asked their negotiators to prepare a joint list of ‘low politics’ CBMs.