Akıncı: “Abandonment of the negotiation table is absolutely unacceptable”
President Mustafa Akıncı stated that the Greek Cypriot side’s reaction to his meeting with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in İstanbul was excessive and unmeasured.
President Akıncı added “I hope they review their position again. Abandonment of the negotiation table is absolutely unacceptable.”
In his interview with Ahmed Mansour from Al Jazeera, President Akıncı evaluated the negotiation process, the latest developments in the process and the referendum target.
President Akıncı said, “It should be known very well that the Turkish Cypriots cannot be confined to the buffer zone in Nicosia. Our talks with the UN officials cannot be confined to the buffer zone only.”
Reminding that they met with Secretary- General Ban Ki-Moon in New York and Davos previously, President Akıncı said, “In our meeting with the Secretary-General in Istanbul, we discussed what can be done to find a solution to the Cyprus problem up to the end of this year.”
Upon a question whether there is a possibility for the Greek Cypriot side to have left the negotiation table, Akıncı said, “The Cyprus problem can only be solved by mutual understanding and political determination. Both sides and also the region will gain profit from a solution and the solution is only possible through dialogue.
Indicating that primarily they want political equality, President Akıncı said that the Turkish Cypriot people want to live in security as a free society without being under threat of another society.
Akıncı: “Negotiation process is a process with ups and downs”
Speaking at an event President Akıncı stated that the negotiation process is a process with ups and downs, and said that he hopes this crisis period will be temporary.
Akıncı said, “Turkish Cypriots deserved to take part in the Summit. Although the Turkish Cypriots are one of the equal partners of the Cyprus Republic, they have been excluded for 53 years and could not obtain the position they deserve in the Summit.”
Stating that it is not right for only one community leader to represent the whole island in the Summit, Akıncı said not only the UN member countries and states were represented at the Summit, there were also other participators apart from the UN. Akıncı also added “Even if it is not recognized, the TRNC should also participate in the Summit but this situation is always ignored”.
Eide: “Current situation should not be exaggerated or underestimated”
Following his meeting with President Mustafa Akıncı, the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said that the current situation should not be exaggerated or underestimated. He expressed his belief that both leaders will not allow it to overshadow the developments on the Cyprus problem.
Eide also noted that the current situation in the Cyprus talks is not desired and there is a problem that should be worked on. Referring to the joint statement of the two leaders towards reaching a settlement by the end of 2016, Eide said that he believes the leaders will return to the negotiation table.
Stating that the international community has full support for the process, Eide reminded that the US Vice President Joe Biden had a telephone conversation with both leaders and called on them to continue the negotiations for the benefit of the whole Cyprus.
Ertuğruloğlu: “We do not intend to prevent religious ceremonies”
Speaking at the General Assembly of the Parliament, Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu referred to the Greek Cypriots’ visits to the religious places in the TRNC and said, “There is a perception that every request was accepted previously, but Ertuğruloğlu has come on duty and he refused these requests .I disagree with such perceptions.”
Ertuğruloğlu said, “We do not intend to prevent religious ceremonies.”There are a lot of requests for religious ceremonies and the decision has been taken in order to discipline these ceremonies.”
Stating that ceremonies can be held in three churches without any restriction, and other churches will be able to have religious ceremonies once a year, Ertuğruloğlu said that the UN and the other authorities have been informed about the decision.
Foreign Minister Ertuğruloğlu emphasized that they will not allow the issue to be reflected as if they are trying to take away the Greek Cypriots’ rights to their religious ceremonies.
Archbishop Hrisostomos: “I am pleased to see ELAM in the parliament”
Speaking at a program on the Greek Cypriot Alpha TV, Archbishop Hrisostomos expressed his satisfaction that far right group ELAM has succeeded to get into the parliament.
Archbishop Hrisostomos said, “Sometimes existence of extremists is essential for the others to be more careful. I do not believe that we will reach a reasonable agreement on the Cyprus problem.”
Cyprus could achieve its full economic potential through a settlement, US official says
Cyprus could become a commercial hub in the Eastern Mediterranean and achieve its full economic potential following the reunification of the island, Kenneth Hyatt US Deputy Undersecretary for International Trade at the Department of Trade told a gathering of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot businesspeople.
Hyatt addressed an event organised by the US Embassy to Cyprus, the Greek Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, the leaders of which noted that a Cyprus settlement would create growth opportunities both to Cyprus and the region.
“The United States is committed to seeing Cyprus prosper and achieve its full economic potential. But in order to achieve that important goal, this fundamentally requires a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue. This is our longstanding policy,” Hyatt said in his speech.
Praising the role of the two Chambers Hyatt, said “through their continuous support Cyprus can realize a bi-zonal bi-communal federation that would create the conditions necessary for attracting foreign investment, increase employment and increase jobs.”
The US Undersecretary said that Cyprus at this point is a small market to the US “but we do think there is a foundation here on which to build and on which to grow.”
He said, bilateral trade amounted to $130 million in 2015, with US investment at approximately 2 billion, an increase sevenfold over the last three years largely due to opportunities in energy and banking. “But there are a number of companies that see opportunities in IT, medical equipment, agricultural products. Cyprus is becoming an increasingly attractive destination in an increasingly complex region,” he said.
The US official also referred to the belief shared by businesspeople about how attractive the companies see Cyprus to be a commercial hub for the eastern Mediterranean. “And I think that`s a strategic opportunity here.” “And in an increasingly unstable region, Cyprus is a more appealing commercial venue than it has ever been. That is why the United States strongly believes that this is Cyprus’s moment to develop into an even broader commercial hub in the Eastern Mediterranean, linking economies throughout the region,” he went on to say.
Hyatt highlighted that one of the key factors behind any company’s decision to do business in a country is stability. “Simply put, reunification would unleash Cyprus’s economic potential by creating the stability and predictability that is necessary for increased bi-lateral trade and investment,” he said.
He referenced four sectors that would emerge as growth drivers for a post-settlement Cyprus.
Particularly, he said tourism which counts for about one quarter of Cyprus’s GDP, stands to benefit greatly as a post-settlement tourist industry would be a boon in terms in creating jobs and modernising infrastructure development, whereas the shipping industry “offers much potential for U.S. companies seeking to export shipping-related goods and services, including shipping insurance services, and marine support services for Cyprus’s budding offshore energy sectors.”
“A settlement,” he added, “will accelerate trade and shipping between Cyprus and Turkey, significantly expanding the sector’s contribution to the island’s economy.”
He also referred to science and innovation, but added that the energy sector holds perhaps the most potential.
Recalling that one US Company has already invested heavily in Cyprus and expressing hope that future discoveries will emerge, Hyatt noted however that “under the current arrangement, Cyprus’s hydrocarbons sector does not have access to its closest commercial market –Turkey – which also happens to be one of the fastest growing markets in the G20 and certainly the region.
The US official also pointed out that post-settlement, Cyprus will present many opportunities, including modernization of the transportation system, upgrade of the ICT sector, and a central location that will allow foreign businesses to be able to properly serve customers throughout the Eastern Mediterranean.
Concluding Hyatt, said the United States is committed to its relationship with Cyprus, and we’re in it for the long-term.
On his part, Phidias Pelides, President of the Greek Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and Industry said our Chambers are convinced that a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem will bring considerable benefits not only to Cyprus and enhancing the welfare and prosperity of all Cypriots but also to the entire region and geographical area that encompasses Cyprus, Greece and Turkey within an enlarged EU where democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms will be respected.
Pelides added that a solution will increase the stability and security in the region and will create huge opportunities of cooperation and economic exchanges between Cyprus, Greece and Turkey focusing not only on their own markets but also with other European and Middle Eastern markets in the area.
A settlement, he added, will create additional opportunities that would consolidated the role of Cyprus as the leading business and services centre in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region, he said, adding that US companies could use Cyprus as their base for the operations in the region.
On his part, Fikri Toros, referred to recent academic studies which “have shown that the island`s total GDP is expected to rise from just over €20 billion to approximately €45 billion by 2035, meaning a total dividend of approximately €25 billion during the initial twenty years, adding this means a GDP per capita of €12,000 and an average economic growth rate of 4.5%.”
He said that specific sectors like tourism will generate additional income of approximately €550 million euros per annum coupled with €725 per annum in the construction sector, whereas the financial and insurance services expect to generate a total dividend of €380 million and professional services sector as whole is expected to generate over €1 billion. Finally he said the shipping sector is estimated to generate an annual average dividend of €760 million and higher education is estimated to yield an additional income of €270 per annum.
On natural gas resources located in Cyprus EEZ, Toros said a regional cooperation between Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus and Turkey is crucial to exploit these resources in the most commercially viable way. “This has been proven to be through a pipeline to Turkey with a view to be marketed to Turkey and ultimately in the European markets,” he said.
TRNC represented at 9th Meeting of the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was represented at the 9th Meeting of the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC).
The meeting was held in İstanbul between 23-25 May with participation of 64 countries to increase the awareness of the member states and to provide continuance of cooperation on the metrology and standards issues.
Financial Times: “Anastasiades will have his work cut out to reach a peace deal by December 31”
Financial Times published an article about Cyprus on 26th May. According to the article by Tony Barber “Mr Anastasiades will have his work cut out to reach a peace deal by December 31. In his favour is the fact that he has a good working relationship with Mr Akinci. Working against him is the fact that the political winds in South Cyprus may now be blowing in the opposite direction to a deal.”
Financial Times continued “The abrupt cancellation of the latest round of negotiations aimed at ending the Cyprus dispute is the latest indication that the prospects for a comprehensive peace settlement, seemingly bright at the start of the year, may be dimming again. Who now would be brave enough to put money on a Cyprus deal by the end of 2016, the target date everyone was talking about in January?”
The writer of the article continues: “I wonder whether his rebuke to the Turkish Cypriot leader had something to do with the outcome of Sunday’s parliamentary elections in South Cyprus. The ruling conservative party of Mr Anastasiades came out on top, but overall the results favoured small, anti-establishment parties that take a hard line against the indubitably sincere efforts of Mr Anastasiades to reach a peace deal.”
The article indicates that in the light of the elections Mr. Anastasiades “May have calculated that it would do him no harm back home if he took a strong stand against eating a five-course meal in Istanbul in Mr Akinci’s company. It would show his compatriots that he is no patsy when it comes to handling the Turkish Cypriots.”
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