Akıncı: “It is not right to say that a solution was not reached due to security and guarantees issues”
In a speech during an event, President Mustafa Akıncı said that the claim that a solution could not be reached due to the security and guarantees issue is fundamentally untrue.
He said that the parties clarified the reasons why the Cyprus negotiations were left unresolved in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, yet he thinks these reasons should be also clarified by the UN Secretary-General.
Akıncı said, “Both the Turkish Cypriot side and the Republic of Turkey have shown more than enough flexibility to achieve a solution in this process”.
Stressing that they will not spend 50 more years trying to solve the Cyprus problem, Akıncı said that he had expressed several times that the conference had to be a decision conference, but that if the Greek Cypriot side only came to the conference “to produce a slogan”, then there is nothing to be done.
Akıncı added, “Zero troops and zero guarantees has become a slogan”, and emphasized that the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey have shown more than enough flexibility in the negotiations, and it is time for the Greek Cypriot side to abandon the ‘zero troops and zero guarantees’ approach.
Akıncı criticised Greece and the Greek Cypriot side for refusing to negotiate when Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side were being flexible and taking steps forward. He said, “They chose to accept the presence of 40 thousand troops rather than only a group of a few hundred soldiers. This is the result”.
Reminding that he had run for office with the promise of working for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal settlement, Akıncı said that this did not mean that he would accept any settlement at any cost. He said, “I will not sign an agreement that will push our people into uncertainty”.
The President also explained that the UN Secretary-General had come up with criteria to discuss property that would have worked in favour of both sides and that they had accepted it, but added that he could not approve a plan that would push the Turkish Cypriots into uncertainty.
Also referring to the issue of territory, the President said that despite all the sensitivities on the matter, the Turkish Cypriot side, in agreement with Turkey, had taken a step forward on this regard based on the map that they had presented earlier.
Finally, he stressed that an agreement could have been reached to gradually reduce the number of troops on the island as trust, confidence and cooperation between the two sides grew, and said, “Unfortunately, an agreement was not reached due to the ‘zero troops and zero guarantees’ slogan adopted by the Greek Cypriot side”.He added that they will continue to work on plans for the future.