The United Nations should openly announce the reasons for the failure of the talks in Crans Montana, Switzerland, President Mustafa Akıncı has said.
Addressing a Press Day reception, the President said that both the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey had demonstrated the necessary flexibility to reach a settlement in Cyprus.
Stating that all the sides concerned had started giving its own reasons for the failure of the talks, President Akıncı said that he wished the UN would openly explain the reasons for the failure of the negotiations.
Pointing out that both the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey had shown more than enough flexibility needed to reach an agreement in Crans Montana, President Akıncı responded to criticisms, stating that the Turkish Cypriot side had attended the talks not as a passive figurant but as an actor.
Stating that he had exchanged views with Speaker of Parliament Sibel Siber and the political parties in parliament regarding the future, Akıncı said that the talks, which have been running on for 50 years, could not continue for another 50 years.
“I repeatedly stated that this conference was a decision conference. But if anyone attended the talks to create some slogan to use in the [presidential] elections then there is nothing we can do. Zero troops and zero guarantees became a slogan which will be used until the elections [in South Cyprus] in February. However it is not possible to produce a result with this slogan”, he said.
Akıncı complained that Greece and the Greek Cypriot side had refused to negotiate when Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side had shown flexibility and took steps forward.
“They chose to accept the presence of 40 thousand troops rather than a contingent made up of a few hundred soldiers. This is the outcome”, he said.
Reminding that he had run for office with the promise of working for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal settlement, Akıncı said that this however did not mean that he would accept any settlement no matter what the cost.
“I will not sign an agreement that will push our people to uncertainty”, he said.
Explaining that the UN Secretary-General had come up with property criteria that would work in favour of the occupants on both sides, the President said that they as the Turkish Cypriot side had accepted this but added that he could not approve a formula that would push the Turkish Cypriots into uncertainty.
Also touching upon the issue of territory, the President said that despite all sensitivities on the matter, the Turkish Cypriot side, in agreement with Turkey, had taken a step forward based on the map that they had presented earlier.
Stating that the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades had insisted on his own map or the map presented in the Annan Plan, Akıncı said that it would be far from the truth to claim that the conference had failed just because of the issue of security and guarantees.
He said that agreement could have been reached to gradually reduce the number of troops on the island as trust, confidence and cooperation between the two sides grew.
“This unfortunately was prevented due to the slogan adopted by the Greek Cypriot side”, he said, adding that they will continue to work on planning for the future.
“I’m not saying that everything is over but we shall sit down and evaluate the situation. We cannot accept the Greek Cypriot side’s proposals. They too have to evaluate this situation and listen to what we are saying. They must understand our concerns. This is the only way we can create a framework for a new relationship in the future”, he added.