Cyprus Negotiations – Discussions collapsed
because of Greek Cypriot’s Approach on Territory
President Mustafa Akıncı complained that the Greek Cypriot side’s stance had changed in the 2nd Mont Pèlerin summit in Switzerland.
He pointed out that the discussions had collapsed there because of what he described as the Greek Cypriot side’s approach on territory.
Speaking to reporters upon his return at Ercan airport last night, the President said that they had an initial understanding to take up different issues at different tables interdependently at a 5 party conference.
He also said that an understanding had also been established with the Greek Cypriot side for the two guarantor powers Turkey and Greece to hold their own talks on security and guarantees but that this idea had later been rejected by the Greek Cypriot leadership.
Pointing out that the summit had succeeded in gaining the attention of the international community which in return had pushed Turkey and Greece to start discussing this issue, President Akıncı pointed out that the discussions in Mont Pèlerin had pushed the Turkish and Greek leadership into meeting soon as both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras were in discussions to meet.
With regards to the five-party conference, Akıncı said that discussions for a date had been talked about; however with Greece announcing that they would only come to the multiparty conference on preconditions had led to UN Special Advisor, Espen Barth Eide, to speak with both the Greek and Turkish leadership on the phone. It was after this diplomacy that the UN confirmed Greece would come to the meeting without preconditions.
Also touching upon developments that took place at the 1st Mont Pèlerin summit, the President said “They (the Greek Cypriot side) tried to conclude the issue of territory in favour of themselves; attempting to diminish the Turkish Cypriot side’s negotiating strength in the process. Instead of accepting an introductory map to be taken up at a 5 party conference, the Greek Cypriot side attempted to conclude the issue of territorial adjustment in line with their own interests, trying to determine the number of people to be allowed to return”.
Akıncı also complained that the Greek Cypriot side deliberately avoided clarifying important issues pertaining to the property issue.
He said that such a negotiating process was unacceptable.
“The Greek Cypriot side without first solving issues vital to the Turkish Cypriot peoples’ political equality such as rotational presidency and active participation in decision making, attempted to conclude all discussions on territory at the very first meeting, ignoring the fact that some aspects of these issues were to be discussed at the 5 party conference. The talks entered a deadlock and failed to produce any results after the Greek Cypriot side insisted on its stance” he said.
Akıncı went on to say “We didn’t go to Mont Pèlerin to surrender the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. The Greek Cypriots wanted the important criteria in territory to remain ambiguous. This is not a way to run the negotiations”, he said.
He went on that the territory issue was a difficult one and one that foreigners had put in front of the two sides over the past years. “This was the first time as Cypriots that we were trying to solve this issue ourselves”, said the President
“We went with all good intentions. We took important steps but we did not see the same from the south. It was their insistence on territory that led to the failure of the talks there”, he said
President Akıncı also added that the next few days will reveal whether or not the process would be in danger.
He however called on the public to keep their morale high and added that the Greek Cypriot side had to change the stance they displayed in Mont Pèlerin.
“We are not in the intention of playing the blame game” he said.
“We will not enter into a position which will result in a non-solution nor run away from the talks. However it is not right to continue with a process which will not result in a solution either”, he said.
Meanwhile President Mustafa Akıncı will be briefing members of parliament on the Mont Pèlerin talks at an extraordinary session on Thursday.
The session which will start at 10 am will be closed to the press.
Source: BRT World News