President Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades met yesterday for their last scheduled meeting in May.President Mustafa Akıncı stated that they proposed to convene the Geneva Summit in June without preconditions, but that they did not receive a reasonable response from the Greek Cypriot side.Following the leaders’ meeting, President Akıncı answered questions from the press and made a public statement. Reminding that the negotiations have been ongoing for the last two years, Akıncı said that the UN Secretary General has described the point that has now been reached as “unprecedented progress”. President Akıncı also made clear that the consistent aim of the Turkish Cypriot side is to reach an agreement on the Cyprus problem, which it has demonstrated repeatedly.
President Akıncı stressed that because July poses potential dangers to the negotiation process, he has suggested that the Geneva conference should be held in June in order to make progress.
Pointing out that the election process has already begun in South Cyprus, Akıncı noted that the natural timeframe for the negotiations should be used well.
Akıncı said, “If we could agree today on a conference date in June, then we could start making the necessary preparations for Geneva until that date arrives. But such a decision was not reached during the meeting”.
The President pointed out that it is not possible to reach a solution by discussing every issue one by one, either for the leaders or for the negotiators. As such, the Turkish Cypriot side proposed a grouped approach to key issues in order to move negotiations forward and maximise chances of reaching a conclusion.
He said, “Our proposal applies the basic principles of the agreement reached on the 14th of February 2014 on the discussion of interrelated chapters. We believe there is no better method of discussion, as all the others have been tried without success. The proposals of the Greek Cypriot leader were not constructive or creative. Unfortunately, they put unacceptable preconditions on the table, which fundamentally hampers the process from reaching a solution.”
Pointing out that they have also offered suggestions on the hydrocarbon issue in Cyprus, Akıncı emphasized that the unilateral explorations and the resumption of excavations by the Greek Cypriot side could trigger new tensions.