The future of the Cyprus negotiations will be determined at the meeting between the two community leaders on Wednesday, 17 May.
Columnist Mete Tumerkan for Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Havadis’ writes that the Turkish Cypriot side believes that the negotiations have reached a point where political will and determination should be exhibited, the issue cannot be prolonged into July and a solution framework could be formulated by the end of June, if the political will exists.
Tumerkan says that the Greek Cypriot side is in no hurry to find a solution, and wants the negotiations to remain open-ended. It does not consider June to be the end date. According to the columnist, this is because the Greek Cypriot side wants the drilling for hydrocarbons in [South] Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to begin and to see the reactions of the Turkish side before considering the resumption of the Cyprus Conference, which started in Geneva last January. He writes:
“Actually, the intention of the Greek Cypriot side is not to secure the continuation of the negotiations. The intention is to lead them to such a stage so as to ensure that the Turkish side leaves the table. This is why the continuation of the process until July is important for the Greek Cypriot side.
“The work of the two chief negotiators in the period up to Wednesday and the result of this work is important. Especially from the point of view of clarifying intentions. Their work will determine what the result of the leaders’ meeting on Wednesday”.