President Mustafa Akıncı has said that the statements made by the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades following his re-election earlier this year must be analysed properly.
Speaking on a programme last night televised from the Presidential Palace, the President said that the negotiations had reached a five-party conference as a result of the Turkish Cypriot side’s efforts.
Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot leadership did not want to share any powers or authorities, Akıncı said that the Greek Cypriot leader, as soon as the process in Crans Montana had ended, had announced that he had withdrawn all his proposals from the table.
He said that the Turkish Cypriot side in response had taken back the map it had presented.
Reminding that he had officially started negotiations with the Greek Cypriot leader on 15 May, 2015 and had held a social meeting with Anastasiades before that, President Akıncı said that the Greek Cypriot leader had promised at that meeting that he would refrain from any hydrocarbon activities.
“This is what truly lies behind his (Anastasiades) latest statement that the talks cannot begin”, he said, adding that any step taken by the Greek Cypriot side on the hydrocarbons issue will be met by counter steps from the Turkish Cypriot side.
“Turkish Cypriots too have rights. That is why we have issued Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) a license”, he added.
Stating that it was up to Anastasiades whether or not he wanted to resume the talks, Akıncı said that the Greek Cypriot leader had revealed his stance.
He said that the UN Secretary General was expecting the two sides to come together and to make a joint statement.
“It’s not enough to say the same thing. It’s important that you mean the same thing”, he added.
“At the point reached, the UN Secretary General will appoint and send someone within the framework of his good offices mission. We shall be asking that person to ask Mr. Anastasiades where he stands”, Akıncı said.
The TRNC President said that things would have been quite different if the Greek Cypriots would have been able to come to terms with the idea of establishing a partnership for the future and acted with a different vision.
Asked to comment about what was going to happen in the process next, Akıncı said “I want everyone to see a solution and peace. This island has experienced pain and tears. We want to benefit from the fruits of a settlement”.
The President said that he and his team had done all that could be done.
“I look back to see what else we could have done and I can’t find anything. We as the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey had made the necessary concessions”, he added.
In response to another question as to whether there were any plans to meet with the Greek Cypriot leader, Akıncı said that there were currently no such plans.
Asked to comment on the Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay’s meeting with the Italian ENI oil company, Akıncı said that Özersay had briefed and consulted with both him and the Prime Minister before carrying out the visit. “We must not undermine such strenuous efforts but must support them”, he said.
Pointing out that a joint Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot committee should be established to deal with the natural gas issue, Akıncı said that such a committee would be a confidence building measure.
He said that he did not understand the Greek Cypriot side’s objection on the matter.
Asked whether he will be running for a second term, President Akıncı said that it was too early to say anything as there were still two years until the elections.
“Much can change in those two years”, he added.