The Turkish Cypriots believe that their security lies with the continuation of Turkey’s guarantees in Cyprus and this request should be respected, President Akinci has said.
Speaking to Turkish Cypriot news agency TAK, he evaluated the latest development in the Cyprus negotiations.
Efforts are continuing to achieve a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality as was laid down in the February 11, 2014 Joint Statement. Noting that any settlement to be reached in Cyprus had to safeguard EU principles and political equality of both sides, Akinci said: “In addition to EU principles, the UN parameters are extremely important for us”.
He went on to say that a necessary principle for the Turkish Cypriot side is the bi-communal element which, as he said, would allow the Turkish Cypriots to rule their own constituent state in their own area and have a clear majority in terms of population and land ownership.
The Greek Cypriots should not feel that they are under threat, he added; however, the sensitivities of the Turkish Cypriots should also be respected. Akinci stated that a solution in which the Turkish Cypriots will feel secure should be reached but cautioned that it is necessary to reach an agreement on the other chapters first.
He said that a five party conference would be necessary when the time comes on the issue of guarantees since this is an issue that concerned the three guarantor powers. “This is one of the reasons why the issue has been left to the end of the talks as it concerns the three guarantor countries. Any changes in the system of guarantees will above all require their approval”, Akinci stated.
He repeated his conviction that a solution could be reached in the coming months and that there would be a referendum, provided the current climate of goodwill continues.
Akinci however pointed out that there are still issues which needed to be resolved, including the territory issue which had yet to be discussed in detail. “But if the will is there, it is possible that progress can be made on this issue as well”, he stated.
On the issue of citizenship, Akinci said that TRNC citizens would become citizens of a united federal Cyprus and the EU. “The number of citizenships could not be limited by percentages”, he argued.