Akıncı: “The negotiations came to a dead end because of the Greek Cypriot side’s efforts to finalize the territory chapter before other issues were solved”
President Mustafa Akıncı received the UK’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson for a meeting yesterday. Johnson is on an official visit to the island in order to offer the UK’s support for the negotiation process.
Akıncı said that the negotiations came to a dead end because of the Greek Cypriot side’s efforts to completely finalize the territory chapter before saying yes to the two main components of the Turkish Cypriots’ political equality: a rotating presidency and effective participation of Turkish Cypriots in the decision mechanism, and an agreement on the issues of security and guarantees.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting with Boris Johnson, Akinci said that he had explained to Johnson in detail the events that had transpired in Mont Pèlerin. “I believe that he understood that it wasn’t just a matter of numbers,” said Akinci.
As the agreement of 2014 stated that all subjects should be discussed in parallel, Akıncı said that “the approach of finishing 5 chapters and discussing the security and guarantees separately at an international conference was wrong.” Akıncı indicated that both parties should change their approach and agree on a date. He added that they can even start discussing the remaining chapters now.
Akıncı continued by saying that if the negotiations start again before reaching an agreement on these issues then the same process which has been dragging on for many years will continue and this will take them nowhere.
Akıncı said: “it will be impossible to decide on all outstanding issues by the end of 2016. The outline of each chapter can be clarified, however, writing the constitutions and federal laws and some other technical issues may extend into 2017.” Akıncı also said that the referendum can be held in mid-2017.
Making a short statement to the press following the meeting held at the Presidential Palace, Johnson stated that the UK is determined to help as much as it can to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Stating that he had a very good meeting with President Akıncı and the Greek Cypriot Leader Nikos Anastasiades, Johnson said that great progress has been made so far in the negotiations. He congratulated President Akıncı for his efforts.
Johnson stated that there is still a lot to be done, but he also emphasized the importance of being optimistic.
Lastly, Johnson stressed again that the UK is committed to helping to find a settlement on the island, but the final decision rests with the Cypriots.
Source: TRNC Public Information Office –
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