President Mustafa Akıncı, who is in New York attending a series of working meetings during the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, gave a speech at the Presidium meeting in the UN Centre yesterday. Greek President of the Socialist International Yorgos Papandreou and his Vice-President were also in attendance.

In his speech, President Akıncı made it clear that the Turkish Cypriot side has always done its utmost to make a positive contribution to the Cyprus issue in a spirit of sincerity and strong political will. However, the TRNC has unfortunately not observed a similar approach to negotiations from its counterparts. Akıncı highlighted that the chances of success in the negotiations after many years were once again in the hands of the Greek Cypriot side and emphasized that a solution on the island would encourage fresh cooperation, raising new possibilities not only for the two communities living on the island but also for the countries and peoples of the region.

Emphasising the importance of Turkish – Greek friendship in this respect, Akıncı praised the efforts of the deceased İsmail Cem, the then Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Yorgos Papandreou for the development of Turkish – Greek relations.

Reminding the audience that negotiations on the Cyprus issue began 50 years ago in Beirut, the President said that another 50 years could not be wasted without reaching a solution. As the old methods have failed to bring about any solution, Akıncı pointed out that an agreement could be reached through new methods and understanding. The President added, however, that the forthcoming Greek Cypriot presidential elections in February 2018 would not permit such an opportunity.

Akıncı added that Antonio Guterres, current UN Secretary-General and former Socialist International President from 1999- 2005, had set a framework for reconciliation between both sides.  Akıncı also highlighted that the Turkish Cypriot side, which has always made positive contributions to the settlement, wants to establish harmonious and productive relations with the world and its neighbours, stressing that the unnecessary obstacles before the Turkish Cypriot community must be removed.

Akıncı stressed that despite the significant progress that has been made, the main reason for not achieving a harmonious settlement is that the Greek Cypriot side is not ready to share political power and give Turkish Cypriots equality. President Akıncı also added that the Annan Plan could not be realized because 65% of Turkish Cypriots voted “Yes” while 76% of Greek Cypriots voted “No” – a fact reflected in former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s report on the matter.

Ertuğruloğlu met with Akça

Foreign Minister Ertuğruloğlu continued his meetings in New York this week, where he attended the annual Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Council of Ministers meeting, organised within the framework of the United Nations General Assembly.

As a part of this, Minister Ertuğruloğlu met with ECO Secretary General Halil İbrahim Akça yesterday to discuss relations between the TRNC and ECO and potential avenues for further collaboration. Ertuğruloğlu announced that he will host ECO member states in the TRNC in the coming months at two important events: the Second Workshop on “Best applications in capacity development and biological variety” and the “Fourth eco-tourism experts meeting”, in October and December respectively.

ECO Secretary General Halil İbrahim Akça welcomed the full involvement and role of the TRNC in hosting ECO meetings, and expressed his confidence in the success of these future ECO events in the TRNC.

Source: TRNC Public Information Office –

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