President Mustafa Akinci has said that during the three and a half hour meeting he had with President Anastasiades last week, they continued the discussion about federal powers and that at their next meeting on 1st July they will start negotiating the property issue.
Akinci noted that both sides believe that the convergences and the agreements reached to date, are valid and that this was reaffirmed at their last meeting. He added, however, that this does not mean that discussion on these issues could not be held and convergences could not be improved. He pointed out that what is important is not changing the agreements reached so far and “not going backwards”.
Referring to the property issue, Akinci said that in spite of the convergences, there are three or four issues on which disagreements still exist.
As regards the chapter on federal government powers, Akinci noted that three sub-chapters exist, one of which covers federal powers. Pointing out that power on issues such as education, health, culture and agriculture will belong to the two founding states, Akinci said that agreement had existed anyway on federal powers and further convergences were achieved on Thursday. He added that the issue would be overcome during the meetings of the negotiators.
Akinci noted that he told President Anastasiades that the Turkish Cypriots share the “pain of the Greek Cypriot people” caused by the fire in the Troodos Mountains and the death of two fire fighters. He expressed his sorrow for the fact that the two communities could not cooperate, even in the face of such a great disaster.
“We underlined that this is not merely a disaster as far as forests and the environment are concerned [but also] that it is evident that there will be disappointment in our communities and the blow to hope is very significant”, he argued.
Pointing out that the reason for all these outcomes is the Cyprus problem, Akinci said: “I felt the need to underline that this problem creates some political sensitivities which prevent cooperation between the two communities even during such big disasters and that such political obstacles should be overcome”.
Akinci recalled that the two communities had established a “crisis committee” and added that they decided to discuss again how this committee will be activated in such cases of critical events and how the infrastructure for cooperation will be prepared in a manner acceptable by both sides.