President AKINCI: “Now a negotiation table, which could produce a result, needs to be set up”
President Mustafa Akıncı yesterday received Mr. Boris Johnson, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, who was in the island to hold official visits on the purpose of showing the UK’s support for Cyprus negotiations.
“We want to have a negotiation table and produce results from it,” President Akıncı said. Reminding that many tables have been set up so far but fell apart, President Akıncı continued as follows:
“The people did not elect me to negotiate for five years. I came to this duty in order to achieve a result. Therefore, neither myself nor my community want to follow an unresolved process.”
Following his meeting with Boris Johnson, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, President Akıncı made a statement to the press and emphasised that a date for the five-party-conference must be agreed on and that the remaining issues can be discussed immediately.
THE DATE NEEDS TO BE DETERMINED
President Akıncı noted that should a date is set for the five-party-conference, it will reveal that the Greek Cypriot side is also willing for an agreement and faithful to the goal of 2016. But if the Greek Cypriot side is far from considering such a date, the problem will last for years and yield no result, he said.
President Akıncı pointed out that if there is determination, political will and good-intention for solution, as of the end of 2016, the expected steps from the Greek Cypriot side can be made.
“We determine the date for the five-party-conference and work again until that date. In the five-party-conference, we put an agreement into the final form and bring out an agreement with the main lines,” he indicated.
“As long as in December we reach a mutual understanding on date and modality of the five-party-conference, in which issues will be discussed in parallel tables, this is possible, ” said the President. Otherwise, if negotiations are resumed without a consensus in this regard, the President said what will happen is obvious. “This process has been lingering and has been resuming again for many years,” he added. “This will not take us anywhere.”
“THIS UNDERSTANDING MUST BE WITHDRAWN”
President Akıncı noted that in the first round of the talks in Mont Pelerin, the Turkish Cypriot side made an opening and took a very serious step. “We were expecting a response for our step which was on the percentages of territory,” he added.
“On the other issues regarding the criteria, we expected from the Greek Cypriot side to take a step closer to us. However they did not take such a step and unfortunately we are confronted with a deadlock.” said the President.
President Akıncı continued as follows:
“The reason for the deadlock reached in Mont Pelerin was the attempt to finalize the Territory Chapter with map before approving rotating presidency and effective participation in decisions which are the two basic elements of political equality of the Turkish Cypriots and before making the arrangements in which the Turkish Cypriots will feel themselves secure in the context of security-guarantee.”
Underlining that such a stance needs to be abandoned, President Akıncı noted that there is a historical opportunity for the solution of the Cyprus problem. “I do my utmost not to miss this chance and I am aware that I am exposed to unfair criticisms at times. It is possible and I bear with them,” said the President.
ACTING IN ACCORDANCE WITH CONSENSUS
President Akıncı remarked that his sole goal is to establish a federal Cyprus, in which both communities in Cyprus will live in equality, security and freedom, by protecting their rights.
The President said the following:
“However, it is my responsibility to attend to acting in accordance with the agreed consensus. I could not have accepted an approach by which the Greek Cypriot side would take whatever they wish to have by the end of the process in the very first meeting we started discussing Territory in detail and would say ‘We have taken whatever we wanted regarding the maps. Now, we can have a look at your political equality demands while we discuss Security and Guarantees’. I will not accept it. It is not possible for a Turkish Cypriot leader to put his signature to such a thing.”
NO OTHER WORD
With regards to the word “maximalist” by which some were disturbed, President Akıncı said the following:
“If there were another word to express their stance, we would have found and used that one. However, such stance is a maximalist understanding. This stance, which aims at taking the most from the very beginning and completing the issue to their own benefit without giving and postponing the Turkish Cypriots’ right of political equality, is a maximalist understanding.”
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of TRNC Presidency Department of Press and Public Relations
Sent: Thursday, December 1, 2016 3:33 PM