President Mustafa Akıncı said that his informal meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades had been useful in seeing where the Greek Cypriot side stood regarding efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus Problem.
Speaking to reporters on his return to the Presidential Palace following his informal meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, the President reminded that it was the first time he had met with the Greek Cypriot leader since the talks at Crans-Montana ended in failure.
“We found the opportunity to evaluate how we see the process from this point onwards. We needed to do this” he said, underlining the importance of having a clear idea on how to proceed.
Pointing out that an historical opportunity had been missed at Crans Montana, Akıncı said that nothing in any future process could be the same.
“Crans Montana has taught us many lessons. Both sides need to make use of these lessons and should take them into account when looking to the future” he said.
Stating that the Turkish Cypriot side had no intention of trapping itself in the same old method as in the previous processes, Akıncı said “I would like to state this very openly and clearly. To resume from where we left off at Crans Montana…to start talking for hours, to spend hours and hours on the same issues…the process where the negotiators meet for hours followed by endless leaders meetings is over. This is something of the past. As I have stated before, any future talks cannot be open ended. Discussions should only be within the framework of a package with a strategic approach. We shall see if this is possible in the period ahead and time will tell if Guterres launches an initiative on this issue.”
Akıncı also stated that nothing new emerged from his meeting with Anastasiades and that both sides were still maintaining the same positions from where things ended in Crans Montana.
He said that no distinct or significant change had been observed in the Greek Cypriot side’s stance.
Explaining that he had also brought up the issue of natural gas at the meeting, the President said that he had warned the Greek Cypriot leader on what could happen in the period ahead.
Stressing that the issue of natural gas was an issue which concerned both sides on the island, Akıncı reiterated his view that a committee needs to be established to deal with this issue or that the Greek Cypriot side needs to suspend its activities.
He added that failure to take such steps will only prompt the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey to launch its own activities.
Akıncı also said that he had requested information from Anastasiades regarding the Derinya and Aplıç crossing points.
“The Greek Cypriot leader told me that the Aplıç crossing point could be ready by the 15th of September and the Derinya crossing point on the 1st of July. We hope that these will be the final dates. We should focus with the government on fulfilling our own obligations so that we can open the two crossing points at close dates” he said.
President Akıncı also said that there were rumours that the UN could be appointing a new advisor but that this would be a temporary appointment.