The UN Secretary-General’s temporary Special Envoy, Jane Holl Lute has asked the Turkish government for an appointment, President Mustafa Akinci has said. “I have learned that Lute has asked for an appointment with the Turkish government for the first week of December, possibly for the 5th or 6th. She has yet to ask us for an appointment. It is most likely she will be meeting with us after her visits to the guarantor states”, said Akinci.
Speaking in an interview with CNN Turk, President Akinci said that Lute aims to complete the process of drafting the terms of reference for restarting the Cyprus talks, by the end of this year, He noted that both sides in Cyprus had to agree on the terms of reference before the Cyprus negotiations could resume.
Akinci noted that UNSG Guterres, in his latest report, had clearly stated that another 50 years could not be wasted on negotiations. He pointed out that: “Different from previous reports, UNSG Antonio Guterres, in his report, stated that any new process could not be open-ended and had to be result-oriented”.
Referring to President Anastasiades’ proposal for a decentralised federation, Akinci that it was surprising to see a “switch in the Greek Cypriot side’s official position”. He said:
“For years we have argued in favour of a federation, in which more powers resided with the constituent states. The Greek Cypriots have argued the opposite. They had supported a federation with a stronger centre and weaker constituent states. Now all of a sudden, Anastasiades came up with this. We are not closed to this idea. I have said this from day one. We are ready to discuss a process which will not be open-ended. I would like to underline this because the Greek Cypriots want the continuation of the status quo”.
Akinci also argued that Anastasiades needed to be realistic as the Turkish Cypriot side would not accept a unitary state model nor did reaching a confederation seem to be achievable. He expressed the view that the UN parameters were not bad and should not be discarded. “I am not even able to travel to Azerbaijan as president”, he noted.
Referring to the tensions over hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, Akinci said that the Greek Cypriot side had opted for tension rather than cooperation and that this had led to Turkey taking action.
Commenting on the recent unofficial meetings held by the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu with the President Anastasiades and the General Secretary of AKEL Andros Kyprianou, Akinci said that he had been informed of the meetings and that he was not concerned by them. “From what I understand these contacts will not resume”, he added.
Akinci also said that the Turkish Cypriot side should not become at odds with the UN, saying that:
“The minute I tell the UN that these parameters are dead and no longer valid, they will hold the Turkish Cypriots responsible, putting the blame on our shoulders. I would not allow something like this to happen”.