“Geneva is the last stop, the final stop, there are not 50 more years after this”, President Mustafa Akinci said at an interview at Ercan airport, on his arrival back from New York.
“We have reached an agreement with the UNSG, we will be ready to implement the responsibilities which fall to us by staying faithful to this agreement, by staying committed to the framework which came up”, he argued adding that he want to see the same from the Greek and the Greek Cypriot side.
Akinci said that in the joint statement made by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres after their meeting in New York, no pre-conditions are included, a common understanding has been summarised, a parallel process exists, all issues are on the table and they will be negotiated in an interdependent manner. He noted that the Conference will be able to start in the second half of June and will last for 1-2 weeks. He pointed out that Greece, Turkey and Britain will participate in the five-party conference during which the chapter of Security and Guarantees will be discussed and in parallel with this, the other issues on which agreement has not been reached yet will be discussed.
The reason that UNSG Antonio Guterres had mentioned the chapters of Governance and Power Sharing and Territory, and had not mentioned the EU and the Economy is that these issues are less problematic in comparison to the other chapter, Akinci said. The president noted that messages distorting the content of the agreement achieved in New York had been published in the Greek Cypriot press, that no ordering of priority of the chapters exists, that there will be no ordering of priority in the meeting and that it had been confirmed that all issues are of equal value.
Akinci repeated that the forthcoming presidential elections in the South are taking precedence and that it will not be easy for the Greek Cypriots to take a step in the Cyprus problem, if they do not “distance themselves from these preoccupations”.
Replying to a question regarding the document which the UNSG’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide will prepare, Akinci said that this document “will be a guide” as regards the way in which the Security and Guarantees issue will proceed. “It will be prepared starting from the findings of the work made by the five parties at technical level in Mont Pèlerin after the Geneva Conference. That is, Eide will not submit a draft-proposal for a solution regarding Security and Guarantees […]”
The president went on to say that he sees no problem with these submissions and that there is no problem in discussing the chapter on Security and Guarantees every day, but the other issues should be discussed in parallel. There could be no case for one side choosing to prioritise discussion of one chapter over another.
Akinci reiterated, however, the Turkish position that the map which is locked in the UN’s safe will come out at the very end of the negotiations and said that the percentage, as regards territory, has been arranged and only some retouching may be needed in relation with other chapters.
No further work on the map should be expected from the first day of the Geneva Conference, he concluded.