Turkish Cypriot leader Akıncı suggests meeting with Greek leader Anastasiades ‘possible’

Turkish Cypriot leader Akıncı suggests meeting with Greek leader Anastasiades ‘possible’

NICOSIA
Turkish Cypriot leader Akıncı suggests meeting with Greek leader Anastasiades ‘possible’

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı has suggested a rare social meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades to talk about the new crossings would be "possible."

A meeting with Anastasiades is possible after the release of the United Nation’s report on Cyprus issue in October, Akıncı told reporters on Oct. 9.

“We would like to have this [meeting] happen at a time not too far,” said the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Akıncı said the Greek Cypriot leader had called him via phone when in New York to thank him for a present he had sent him for his birthday, according to local reports.

"He wanted to thank me after receiving my present … I wished him a happy birthday and he called to thank me," Akıncı said.

During their phone conversation, the possibility of coming together for a social gathering was raised, he added.

"I did not give him a negative reply," said Akıncı, while making clear he did not want to give the impression the old talks process was still alive.

"I do not want any new dialogue to be perceived as a continuation of the old negotiation process. As I have said before, that process is over," he said.

"I would not wish to give people false hopes," said Akıncı.

It would be the first time the two leaders have met in a social setting since April. Neither have sat down for face-to-face talks since the peace summit debacle in Switzerland’s Crans-Montana in July 2017, which took place under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom.

The Crans-Montana initiative collapsed earlier this year.

Crossing openings

Akıncı also said he expects to determine the opening date of the Derinya and Aplic border crossings between northern and southern parts of the island during the meeting.

"We want a peaceful future on this island," he said.

"We do not want the continuation of the status quo in Cyprus," said Akıncı.

In September, following a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York, Akıncı said the report by Jane Holl Lute—appointed by Guterres as the temporary advisor to conduct consultations on Cyprus—was not ready yet.

He said the report was going to be submitted to Guterres in one or two weeks and to the U.N. Security Council on Oct. 15.

Akıncı added that the report would be discussed on Oct. 30.

Cyprus was divided into a self-declared Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration, the “Republic of Cyprus,” in the south after the 1974 military coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turkish people and Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power.

Cyprus, Turkish Cyprus, Greek Cyprus, Mustafa Akıncı, Nicos Anastasiades