Akinci and Ban Ki-moon agree on progress levels in talks

President Mustafa Akinci who met with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday, said that the property issue needs to be solved in a manner which will not upset the social order in the country.

Bayrak TV reported that Akinci spoke to the press after his meeting on Friday. Akinci described his meeting with the UN Secretary General as effective and productive. “We discussed the progress achieved in the talks with the UN Secretary General”, he said.

Stating that he had found the opportunity to convey the Turkish Cypriot side’s views regarding the stage reached in the talks, Akinci said that important progress had been reached on the chapters of power sharing and governance, the economy and EU matters. He said that the UN Secretary General also shared his views on the level of progress achieved.

Pointing out that the talks will be focusing on the thorny issues of property, security and guarantees over the next few months, Akinci reminded that he had reached an agreement with his Greek Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades on establishing a joint property commission made up of a specific number of Turkish Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and a foreign member to deal with property cases after a settlement is reached. “The decisions of this commission will be based on the criteria to be determined and set by the two sides. Our negotiators will be negotiating and determining what these criteria will be. I am hoping that we will achieve positive results in a short period of time”, he added.

Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot side is sensitive on the bi-zonal character of a settlement to be reached; Akinci reminded that this principle is included in the 11 February 2014 declaration. He expressed the view that compensation will play an important role in the creation of a post-settlement property regime. “This is why the financing and funding of a settlement has become important more than ever”, he added.

Akinci highlighted the importance of reaching a win-win solution in which neither of the two sides will be able to establish dominance over the other. Stating that a settlement will not only benefit Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots but the whole region as well, Akinci reminded that the two sides had agreed to speed up the negotiations process in November.

Reiterating his view that a solution is possible in a matter of months, Akinci said that a settlement can be reached before the parliamentary elections in South Cyprus in May if both sides pushed harder. “This could be possible if we work hard in November, December and January. The critical issue here is the criteria that we will determine and agree upon”, he added.

Pointing out that the criteria on property will be a test; Akinci said: “We are talking about a bi-zonal, bi-communal settlement. Each community will make up the majority of the population in their own respective constituent state. This has been a UN parameter since 1992. I believe that we can find principles that can safeguard and guarantee this.”

Responding to a question regarding the issue of hydrocarbons, Akinci said that hydrocarbon reserves discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean can work as a catalyst for a settlement in the island.

‘Kibris Gazetesi’ reports that President Mustafa Akinci also briefed the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon on the issues of the missing persons and the opening of the Derynia border crossing point.

Akinci told the UN Secretary General that from now on, the Turkish army will be giving permission, more readily and more rapidly, to investigate sites in military zones, where missing persons are thought to be buried. It is hoped that facilitating the investigations in about 30 burial sites in military zones, the remains of more missing persons will be found, the newspaper writes.

In addition, Akinci told the UN Secretary General that the existing road [called Vehit Guner Street by the Turkish Cypriots] will be used when the Derynia crossing point is opened.

Diplomatic sources say that these two issues have been successfully settled as a result of “silent diplomacy” carried out by Akinci with Turkey’s civilian and army officials. If no obstacle comes up, the Derynia crossing point is expected to open by the end of the year.

BRT, Kibris Gazetesi

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