By Fikri Toros…..
As the President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, I will be present in Geneva where the summit for the settlement of the long standing Cyprus conflict will take place next week. Leaders, guarantors and other parties with vested interest in Cyprus hold historic responsibilities to leave an island in peace, stability and prosperity to the future generations. Whilst they will aim to finalise their negotiations, I will echo the voice of the Turkish Cypriot private sector enterprises to the representatives of international media, diplomatic corps and to the negotiators.
We are realistic, yet cautiously optimistic. It will certainly not be an easy task to build peace whilst such multidimensional and multilateral complexities still prevail. Irrespective of the outcome, the relentless efforts and commitment of the two Leaders must not be undermined. We genuinely hope that a compromise will be reached that will satisfy the expectations of both communities, as well as those of the guarantors. Should this not happen, then we expect the two Cypriot leaders to come out of the summit with an agreed road map for the way forward towards their shared goal. Where there is a will, there is always a way. It is imperative that the solution to be found is viable where both communities can attain their minimum expectations for a secure and prosperous future!
History shows that the vast majority of the Turkish Cypriot Community has always managed the much needed communal integrity at such critical times and has made rational decisions. When the process ends with an agreement between the two Leaders, it will be submitted to the approval of the two communities at simultaneous referenda, before it can enter into force. I have full faith in our President and his Chief Negotiator that they will not accept a plan which our Community will not approve !
With these feelings and thoughts, I sincerely hope that an agreed comprehensive settlement plan will be developed that guarantees our rights and security together with those of Turkey, who has been granting unconditional support to us at all times in our history. In any event, on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot business community, I will aim to contribute as much as possible for a positive outcome at the Geneva summit, to one which safeguards our social and economic interests. I am grateful to the Executive Board and the Assembly of the Chamber of Commerce, as well as to the Turkish Cypriot business community for their unerring support extended to me throughout this process.