President Mustafa Akinci has reiterated that a road map for the solution of the Cyprus problem should now be clarified. In statements to Turkish NTV, Akinci said that “usually the Greek Cypriot side does not want to refer to timetables and time periods” and that “we can say that it has a kind of a phobia for timetables”.
Asked whether they are about to enter into a five-party conference process with the participation of Turkey and Greece, Akinci replied that “this is actually the point at which we stand”. He argued that a “natural timetable” has come into being and that the last item of this timetable is a five-party conference. He said: “A more intensified negotiation is expected in October in Cyprus. Afterwards it is inevitable for us to move to a different format and in the end to go to a five-party summit. If our commitment to the target of 2016 continues, as has been expressed in recent statements, we can predict that the five-party conference will definitely take place before the end of 2016”.
Asked whether there will be a procedure similar to the one at Camp David, during which the leaders will be holding face to face discussions alone on issues such as property and territory, Akinci replied that what he is saying is that in October, outstanding issues which remain unresolved in the first four chapters should be concluded and added: “What we mean as the Turkish side when we refer to a process like the one at Camp David is that Cyprus is a small place and the content of discussions leak within a short period of time. These leaks become sensational front page news in the papers the next day. We want to create an environment outside Cyprus where a series of meetings will take place on sensitive issues which concern the territory in Cyprus. And right afterwards we want there to be a five-party conference. And we want all these to happen within the next one to two months”.
Replying to another question, Akinci said that Turkey has been supporting them from the very beginning of the process and expressed the belief that on the issue of security and guarantees, a formula could be created which will protect the Turkish Cypriot people, but will not constitute a threat to the Greek Cypriots.
Referring to the natural gas issue, Akinci argued that we have two choices: natural gas will either become a source of new tensions in the region or will be turned into a bridge of peace and cooperation. He said that the hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean are important from the point of view of opening the door to cooperation among the countries in the region and not only between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots. He reiterated the view that the Cypriot and Israeli natural gas should be transferred to Europe through Turkey.
Akinci said again, that it will never be possible to achieve a federal settlement in Cyprus, if the efforts to reach a solution by the end of this year fail. The next three months are “of vital importance”, and that this period “should not be wasted”. He added: “The Greek Cypriot side has an inexplicable fear of timetables. They do not want to discuss it. This phobia dates back to the Annan Plan and is unfounded. We made it clear that we were ready to establish a timetable. So once again the Turkish Cypriot side’s determination and commitment towards a solution was demonstrated in front of the UN community”.