President Mustafa Akinci has said that there were no pre-conditions laid down for a five-party conference and that the agreement is as announced by the UN.
Speaking at Ercan airport prior to his departure for Brussels on Monday, where he is expected to meet with the President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Junker, the Speaker of the European Parliament Martin Schultz and the High Representative Responsible for the EU’s Foreign Affairs and Security Policies, Federica Mogherini, Akinci said that his contacts with the EU in this period “have exceptional importance”, because the date for a five-party conference has been determined.
Akinci said that all things being well, his side would try to reach agreement on outstanding issues in the Cyprus negotiations and wished that the Greek Cypriot side would show the same kind of determination.
Noting that the date for a five-part conference has been determined and that they are heading towards a “determined period in the solution process“, Akinci argued that in case things go well, they will try to end with an agreement on outstanding issues in the Cyprus talks and wished for the Greek Cypriot side to show also the same determination.
If an agreement is reached in Geneva, the TRNC will take its place in an honourable solution, it will be turned into one of the two founding states and it will take its place in international law and the EU, he said. The Turkish Cypriots’ preparation process for the EU, which has been going on for some time, will gain more importance now adding that the meetings he will hold with the EU officials are of great importance.
“There are duties which fall on us and at the same time there are duties which fall on the EU”, he argued adding that the EU should do certain things in order for the solution to be implemented in a healthy manner. The Turkish Cypriot people and the TRNC have expectations of the EU as regards their preparation for joining the EU, Akinci noted. All these will be discussed during his contacts in Brussels and he will inform the EU officials about stage the Cyprus talks have reached.
Recalling that a road map had produced at the recent meeting he held with President Anastasiades and the UNSG Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, Akinci said that they agreed on a road map according to which they will go to Geneva on 9th January which will lead to a five-party conference on 12th January. He emphasised that contrary to some reports, “there is absolutely no pre-condition” on the road to Geneva and the agreement is as was announced by the UN. Speculation that there had been some back-stage negotiations were inaccurate and misleading. The agreement text announced by the UN reflects the real situation.
Akinci said that he will return to the TRNC on Thursday night and that he will have a busy schedule until the meeting in Geneva. He wished for a solution to be reached to the Cyprus problem in which both peoples are happy and live in tranquillity.
Referring to the government’s decision to follow Turkey and not to revert to daylight saving time (DST) he said that this was confusing everyone.
A recent government edict said that public institutions and schools should open one half hour later. Akinci said that his home is next to a school and that he had heard the school bell ring twice – once at 08.00 and then at 08.30. This chaotic situation needed to be resolved urgently, he said.
Recalling that he had expressed his opinion on this in the past and that everything depends on the government’s decision, Akinci argued that “the reasonable thing to is to readjust to the system which has been implemented for years,” and added that he had conveyed this view to the government during their recent meeting. The proper and reasonable thing to do is to act according to the rules of nature and put the clocks back by one hour according to the EU time zone, he underlined.