Presidential candidate Mustafa Akinci has said that he would not be in favour of Turkey renewing its NAVTEX (notice to mariners) when the South resumes its drilling activities in the search for gas. In either case, the most important topic was to solve the Cyprus problem.
In an interview with Cyprus Mail, he said that he supported the Joint Agreement signed in January last 2014. He also agreed that negotiations should resume at the point where they were left off.
In the event of a solution, both sides must be ready to share power in a federal government and the island’s natural resources, including sharing the water which will be streamed to the island from Turkey this year.
Akinci said that there must be political will on both sides to solve the problem in order to create the conditions for a more prosperous future for all Cypriots, without fighting over resources which still remain under the sea.
He agreed that there were many difficult issues but a new perspective was needed to grow confidence in both communities. There were also practical measures which could be taken, for example linking the mobile phone systems and establishing car insurance facilities which both sides could use.
Asked about using the input from civil society, he said grassroots activity and civil society organisations would provide part of the momentum towards a solution. Akinci said he would work closely with such organisation during the negotiations.
He said that the greatest challenge he would have to deal with, if elected, would be the lack of trust felt by the Turkish Cypriots towards their own politicians and towards the Greek Cypriot political establishment. Since the ‘No’ vote in the Annan referendum in 2004, Turkish Cypriots had lost hope for a solution.
Restoring faith in both communities would be one of his main tasks, he said.
Asked how he saw the re-unification working, he said that there would be a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation; both communities would exist side by side. However, at the same time, there would be cooperation between the two communities for mutual benefit, as would be stipulated in the federal constitution.
Some authority would lie with the federal government, while some matters would be dealt with by the respective federated states.
The system would be neither confederate not unitary, rather it would be a Cypriot federation formed by taking into account the current status quo.