Date for five-party summit needed to revive Cyprus peace talks: Akıncı
AA photoA firm date for a five-party conference needs to be set in order to revive the peace talks and reach a peaceful solution on Cyprus, Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı has said.
“If we reach a consensus on the date of a five-party conference in December, with the participation of the guarantor states, topics will be discussed on parallel tables,” said Akıncı, commenting on the collapse of peace talks 10 days ago.
“Otherwise, it is obvious what will happen if negotiations start before a consensus,” he said after meeting British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in Nicosia on Nov. 30.
“You will see once again the continuation of the years-long process in the same way,” Akıncı added, in reference to the more than 40-year-old conflict on the divided eastern Mediterranean island.
Johnson’s visit to Cyprus, where he also met with Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and U.N. special adviser Espen Barth Eide, came 10 days after the second round of intensified peace negotiations, under the auspices of the United Nations in the Swiss resort town of Mont Pelerin, ended without a peace deal, even though hopes were high due to extensive progress made in the past couple of months.
Speaking to the media, Akıncı said after talks with Johnson that a referendum over a possible peace deal could be held in Cyprus in mid-2017.
He also stressed that it would not be possible to resolve “all details of the dispute” by the end of this year.
“Let’s get an outline and wait to know more about what will happen about the territories. Let’s wait to know what will happen about the pending issues pertaining to our political equality,” Akıncı said.
The Turkish Cypriot leader said several issues, from writing the constitutions and to implementing reunification measures, would be delayed into 2017, adding that the first three months of the year would see the preparation of constitutions.
“In the second three months of 2017, an adequate time will be given to our people. Everyone will be able to see what issues have been agreed. And then referendums may be held in mid-2017,” Akıncı added.
Johnson, for his part, thanked Akıncı for his effort during the ongoing peace talks.
“Britain desires to help solve the Cyprus dispute … I’m convinced that with further flexibility and creativity on both sides, a solution can be reached and that the remaining difficulties can be overcome,” he added.
The U.S. State Department said on Nov. 30 that the U.S. was continuing to support the U.N.-led and -facilitated process, adding that it was encouraged by the progress made so far this year.
“Our focus remains on supporting efforts by the parties to reach a comprehensive settlement and to reunify Cyprus as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation,” agency spokesman Mark Toner said during a press briefing.