Anadolu Agency: Turkish Cypriot head asks Greek side to set talks date

By Murat Demirci

The president of Turkish Cypriots has called on the Greek Cypriot side to determine a date for meeting guarantor powers soon to achieve the goal of finding a final solution to the dispute over the island by the end of 2016.

Talking to reporters in Lefkosa, Mustafa Akinci, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus president, said: “If all sides aim for a solution, the thing to be done is clear.

“We should decide on a date to call a five-party conference,” Akinci said.

He said in such a gathering Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots could discuss the main issues between the two nations, while Turkey, Greece, and Britain discussed matters of security and guarantees.

His remarks came after a meeting with leaders of political parties and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu during which they discussed the recent reunification talks in Mont Pelerin in Switzerland.

Negotiations between Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades had ended on Monday without a solution.

Akinci previously blamed the Greek Cypriot side for the failure of talks in Mont Pelerin and said the Greeks had taken a position on territory before agreeing on a rotating presidency and active participation on resolutions – crucial topics for Turkish Cypriots.

On Friday, the country’s Prime Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun also said: “If we do not have a solution by the end of 2016, we need to be at the point of continuing [alone] as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”

Ozgurgun listed his conditions for a return to talks: the Greek Cypriot side “would accept the equality of the Turkish Cypriot side; political equality; and the effective and actual guarantee of Turkey” on the island.

Greek and Turkish Cypriots were displaced when the island was first divided 42 years ago, a possible federalist agreement would mean redrawing existing boundaries and potentially moving thousands of residents from their homes.

Reunification discussions resumed in May 2015, and both sides repeatedly expressed optimism that a solution can be found by the end of 2016.

Source: Anadolu Agency