September could be the beginning of a new period in Cyprus, President Mustafa Akinci has said.
Speaking at Ercan Airport, after his return from Ankara on Thursday, Akinci reiterated that seven meetings between himself and President Anastasiades are planned from 23rd August until 14th September 2016 and added:
“If the ground for a five-party conference could be created during these seven meetings, something which we wish to happen, the month of September could become the beginning of a new period. Uncertainties on some issues in the first four chapters need to be clarified during these seven meetings, especially on property, where positive steps are expected to be taken. In case these happen, the way for a five-party conference could open.”
According to Akinci, territory will generally be discussed in these seven meetings without percentages and maps, while security and guarantees will be reserved for the final stage, but “the end is approaching, ”he said.
Reiterating his belief that reaching a solution by the end of 2016 is possible, Akinci stated that “a solution could become impossible if it is not achieved in 2016”. He noted that progress depends on achieving convergences and added that “this is the reason why the seven meetings are extremely important from the point of view of showing whether it is possible to open the way of a five-party conference in New York in September”.
Akinci said that Turkey’s support for the Turkish Cypriots was important and the solution process in Cyprus. He added that his contacts in Ankara were useful. He noted that Turkey also is aiming for a solution in Cyprus in 2016.
Asked whether they have a Plan B in case a solution is not reached, Akinci said that in parallel to the efforts for solving the Cyprus problem, they should develop the economy and democracy in the TRNC and therefore, there is no need to prepare a scenario for the possibility of not finding a solution, since “life continues and we will continue on our way. This is not what we wish. Our wish is for a solution in which all sides will win”, he argued adding that “therefore putting other scenarios onto the agenda from now on, has no meaning”.
Noting that the Greek Cypriots are expecting the Turkish Cypriots to change their stance on the points of disagreement, Akinci argued that the Turkish Cypriots are actually those who expect the Greek Cypriots to change their stance and attitude. Explaining what he meant, he referred to statements such as “there could be no solution without the return of Morfou” and “we will not say ‘yes’ to a solution if guarantees exist”. He said that no solution could be reached with such “hard” statements.