Solving ‘little’ Cyprus’ problem will contribute to regional peace, says Turkish Cypriot leader
AA photoSolving the dispute on the “little” divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus would also bring peace and prosperity to the crisis-riddled region, said Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı.
“By little Cyprus solving its own problem, it will very much contribute to regional security,” said Akıncı on April 6 in Istanbul during a speech at the 19th Eurasian Economic Summit organized by the Marmara Group Foundations.
Akıncı said a crisis happening anywhere around the world affects not only the country it is in, but also the countries surrounding it and those all around the world.
“Nowadays, incidents do not only affect the country where it happens, it affects everywhere. An economic crisis in a country affects other countries too and a bomb that explodes in a society [hurts] our hearts, if not our bodies,” said Akıncı, giving the example of 3-year-old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi, whose washed-up body aroused the attention of the globe to the migrant crisis.
Akıncı said a just and federal solution to the Cyprus issue would not only allow for the two communities of the island to reach a peaceful and prosperous future but also would allow for a regional cooperation to be reached.
The island has been divided since 1974 when Turkey intervened into the northern side after a Greek-led coup aimed at unification with Greece took place.
The Turkish and Greek communities of the island have re-launched U.N.-brokered peace talks in May 2015 under the leadership of Akıncı and his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Nicos Anastasiades.
Akıncı and Anastasiades have expressed their belief in a peaceful solution to the conflict by the end of this year, as they continue to meet extensively in order to hold negotiations on reaching a fair solution.