The Greek Cypriot side should focus its energy on cooperating with the Turkish Cypriot side rather than trying to claim the island’s natural wealth for itself through unilateral moves, President Mustafa Akinci has said.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency ahead of his meeting on Tuesday with Anastasiades, President Akinci said that, at the meeting, he expected Anastasiades to clarify his views regarding a decentralised federation.
The President said that he had conveyed this request to Anastasiades during their telephone conversation and that the Greek Cypriot leader had told him he would come prepared to the meeting.
Reminding that the Greek Cypriot leader had made no mention of which authorities he believed should reside with the constituent states when they met in October last year, Akinci said “I’m ready to listen to what Mr. Anastasiades has to say on the issue and to any other ideas he might have”.
He pointed out that the meeting should not be acknowledged as a resumption of negotiations.
“The idea of a decentralised federation model where more authorities reside with the constituent states was the Turkish Cypriot side’s position from the beginning. The Greek Cypriot side’s traditional position on the other hand was the opposite. That more powers should reside with the central government. So it is not possible for us to reject such an option if the Greek Cypriot side has grown closer to our position”, he added.
Akinci also said that the clarification of this issue will assist the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute’s efforts to determine common ground for the possible resumption of talks.
President Akinci pointed out, however, that it was unlikely that any new developments will take place before June due to the upcoming European Parliament elections, the general elections in Greece and local elections in Turkey.
He also said that it would be no easy task for the UN envoy to finalise the Terms of Reference required for the talks to restart.
Touching upon the issue of political equality, the President said that the issue was a ‘sine-qua non’ for the Turkish Cypriot side.
He said that it was out of the question for the Turkish Cypriot side to accept any settlement which did not safeguard the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots and which recognised Turkish Cypriots as a minority.
Akinci also repeated the view that any new process could not be open-ended.
“Any new negotiations process has to be results-oriented and subject to timetables. It is out of the question to accept an open-ended process. This has been included in the UN Secretary–General’s report. We are in full harmony with Turkey on this issue”, he added.
Regarding the issue of hydrocarbons, the President said that the Greek Cypriot side should not try and exclude Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots from its activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“The Greek Cypriot side should focus its energy on cooperating with the Turkish Cypriot side rather than trying to claim the island’s natural wealth for itself through unilateral moves”, he said, adding that the Turkish Cypriot side will not remain idle if the Greek Cypriots continue to ignore the Turkish side’s calls.
“Our hope is that the Greek Cypriot side will chose logic and common sense to find a common way to share the island’s wealth with us rather than insisting on acting on its own”, President Akinci concluded.