President Mustafa Akinci has said that the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades stepped back from an agreement made prior to their New York trip, to give a joint message to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
This was due to the influence of the Greek Cypriot National Council and possible reactions from opposition parties, the President stated.
The statement was intended to pave the way for the five-party meeting. However, Cyprus Weekly reports that south Cyprus government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides dismissed Akinci’s accusation and made clear that a holding a UN-brokered multi-party conference on Cyprus without core issues in the peace process being thoroughly negotiated, would be non-productive.
Speaking to a TAK reporter before leaving New York, Akinci stated that he held a one-to-one meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and a joint meeting which included Anastasiades.
Akinci also had meetings with the US Vice President Joe Biden, German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu and the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide.
When asked to what extent the three-way meeting met the expectations of the Turkish Cypriot side, Akinci responded that they had not come to New York expecting miracles, as he previously stated at Ercan airport. “We came here to assess the situation and to determine how best to move forward because it is obvious that we have a tight timetable and the deadline for this timetable is the end of this year’’ Akinci said.
“The UN Secretary-General is leaving his post at the end of this year and we expect him to take a more active role in the process.”
Finding a settlement before the end of 2016 is both sides’ aim, and the Secretary General will help in this regard, Akinci said.
According to the President, there are risks in carrying the negotiations into 2017, and Akinci thus emphasised that it would benefit all parties if a settlement could be reached before the end of this year.
TRNC Public Information Office, Cyprus Weekly