President Mustafa Akıncı has said that nothing new was discussed at the informal leaders’ meeting yesterday evening (16th April).

President Mustafa Akıncı and the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades met last night for an informal dinner for the first time since the talks collapsed in Crans Montana in July 2017.

In his statement following the meeting, President Mustafa Akıncı underlined that the sides were still at the same point as they were in Crans Montana and added that he did not observe any obvious change in the stance of the Greek Cypriot side. Akıncı said that this first meeting between the two leaders following a break of almost ten-months was intended to help them better understand each other’s points of view.

Pointing out that an historical opportunity had been missed at Crans Montana President Akıncı said: “I want to underline, in order to avoid any misunderstandings, that nothing can be the same as before. This is impossible. Both sides have to learn lessons from the Crans Montana process and take these into consideration in the future.”

Stating that he had brought up the issue of natural gas at the meeting, Akıncı added that he also warned about future steps, and stressed that the issue of natural gas concerns both sides. Akıncı proposed that a committee needs to be set up on this issue, and if this cannot be done, then the Greek Cypriot side should suspend their activities. If this is impossible, he said, the Turkish Cypriot side will be forced to embark on similar activities with Turkey.

President Mustafa Akıncı also stated that ahead of the leaders’ meeting he had requested information from the Greek Cypriot side regarding the Aplıç and Derinya crossing points and he was informed that the Greek Cypriot work on the Aplıç crossing point will be completed on September 15th, and that the Derinya crossing point will be ready on July 1st.