President Mustafa Akinci has said that the Greek Cypriots should internalise the meaning of federation in Cyprus.
After he met with Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Responsible for Cypriot Affairs, Tugrul Turkes and the General Secretary of the Turkish Presidency Fahri Kasirga, who visited the island to celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) of the TRNC, Akinci said:
“They [the Greek Cypriots] should digest now that a Turkish Cypriot will be able to become president of the partnership republic, even though in rotation. We have internalised the idea a long time ago. If this becomes mutual, it will be possible for us to create common ground where everyone could say ‘I can submit this to our people with pleasure’. We will see this as of next Sunday.”
Expressing his satisfaction that representatives of Turkey’s most important institutions joined them during the celebrations for the UDI, Akinci added: “We are conducting the negotiations in cooperation, solidarity and consultation with you. Our wish is the same as yours, to bury in history the 50-year-old problem.”
Pointing to the importance of creating new possibilities for cooperation, Akinci said that no one can benefit from hostilities in the region, but there are a lot of things for all sides to gain from friendship. He said:
“Of course, balanced approaches are needed to achieve this. I believe that we are demonstrating this by doing the maximum we can. This happened in the past and it is happening now. We have always been the side which looked at, asked and pushed for a solution. We are at the same point again. However, it is now time for them to reply to the steps we take. This is extremely important. This is a condition for a balanced agreement. It is inevitable”.
Arguing that these issues could be solved with a balanced approach, the President said that some circles in south Cyprus, under the leadership of the Church, believe that “the whole island belongs to us and the Turkish Cypriots are fewer in number and should be given minority rights”.