South was always reluctant to go to Cyprus Conference

President Mustafa Akıncı has said the Greek Cypriot side had attended all meetings in Switzerland unwillingly, only to be caught unprepared for the steps taken by the Turkish side.

Akıncı said that the UN, the EU and third party observers all had seen that the Greek Cypriot side was unprepared.

That is why Mr. Eide’s statements have caused so much upheaval in the South. They are extremely disturbed by the fact that someone from the UN is voicing this” he said.

Speaking at the Construction and Real Estate Sector Development Strategy Meeting in Lefkoşa yesterday, the President said that life continued in Cyprus and that it was important to plan for the future.

It was everyone’s desire that a settlement had taken place but life goes on and we need to make plans” said Akıncı, underlining the importance of planning for cities, the economy and all other sectors.

He added that this planning was part of efforts to reach a settlement as this would make people more prepared in the event of a solution.

Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and the UN Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide were at each other’s throats, Akıncı said that the Turkish Cypriot side had no desire to be part of this.

Reminding that they had held three separate meetings in Switzerland until the talks collapsed, the President said that these meetings had taken place through the efforts and persistence of the Turkish Cypriot side.

Mr. Anastasiades dragged his feet at all these meetings. You can be sure of this. All three meetings ended without any results” he added.

Stating that the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades had attended the meeting at Mont Pelerin thinking that the Turkish Cypriot side would not take any initiatives, Akıncı said that the Greek Cypriot side had panicked when the Turkish Cypriot side had accepted 29.2% on territory.

Mr. Anastasiades had asked everyone in the room to leave before he turned to me and told me he was sorry and unprepared. We travelled with a scheduled flight, he and his delegation travelled with a private plane. He wanted to speak with Athens. We told him to go and come back. He asked for 10 days. More importantly he used the name of the leader of the Greek Cypriot party AKEL. They had a domestic political dispute. The truth was they did not want to take any steps regarding a five- party conference” he said.

Akıncı pointed out that the Greek Cypriot side was faced with a similar situation in Geneva when the Turkish Cypriot side presented its map.

They were not expecting to see such a map. This time it was Greece which stated that it was not ready. And so both Greece and the Greek Cypriots went to Crans-Montana thinking the Turkish side would not make any openings” he said.

The President stated that Greece’s and the Greek Cypriot side’s aim in Crans-Montana was to put all the blame on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side.

We never accepted the idea of zero troops and zero guarantees. We proposed steps and waited for the other side to budge. We showed flexibility by protecting the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. All parties attending the conference saw that the Greek Cypriot side was not prepared” he added.

Stating that the Turkish side was not happy with what the UN Special Advisor had said, Akıncı stated “we only wanted him to say what he wanted to say openly. But the UN’s policy for balance will continue”.

Pointing out that the source of the problem in Cyprus was not the UN’s parameters but the Greek Cypriot side’s mentality, Akıncı expressed his view that a settlement within these parameters was not possible as long as the Greek Cypriots’ mentality remained the same.

President Akıncı also reminded that the Greek Cypriots had refused to bring to life the confidence building measures they had agreed upon, in the fear that it would upgrade the status of the TRNC.


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