The two community leaders held a second meeting on Thursday evening to discuss governance, the economy and EU matters, after reports that Turkey had issued a Navtex (notice to mariners) that it would be sending a survey vessel to the island’s exclusive economic zone.
It was also the first time the leaders were meeting after the constitutional referendum in Turkey.
After the meeting, President Anastasiades said:
“There was a good climate. Tonight we were briefed by our [respective] negotiators on their work to date, and their deliberations will continue tomorrow.
“Of course, the climate is not enough, what is most important is to get results. Differences do remain, and so I would not like to create an impression imparting either optimism or pessimism.”
Asked about recent military exercises held in the region by Turkey, using live ammunition and its recent issuing of a Navtex stating that it would be operating new seismic explorations in Cyprus EEZ, Anastasiades said that he had spoken about it to Akinci.
“We cannot on the one hand talk about confidence-building measures and on the other hand have these Turkish provocations,” Anastasiades said.
Asked if Akinci had given any response, the president declined to comment.
During Thursday’s meeting, the leaders were accompanied by their respective chief negotiators and lead advisors on Cyprus.
The three issues on the table – governance, the economy and EU affairs, had been discussed at length previously.
One item relating to economic aspect of reunification is the question of an asset quality control of banks in the north, as cited in a report by the International Monetary Fund. The Turkish Cypriot side had earlier refused to grant permission for such checks.
Hours before meeting with Anastasiades, Akinci said that the Greek Cypriots needed to change their attitude towards Turkish Cypriots if the talks were to succeed.
“The Greek Cypriot community must regard the Turkish Cypriot community as equal and as partners, not as a minority,” Akinci was quoted as saying in the north.
“Either we clinch an agreement and the TRNC becomes part of a federal partnership state or, if we cannot, the ‘TRNC’ will continue on its own path.
“Our desire is for the former,” he added.