Turkish Cypriot president urges faster pace for peace talks
NICOSIA – Anadolu Agency
CİHAN photoIf 2016 is to be the year of a solution, the ongoing United Nations-brokered Cyprus peace talks need to be faster and more productive, the President of Turkish Cyprus Mustafa Akıncı said April 25.
Akıncı made his remarks after a four-hour meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades in the U.N.-administered buffer zone, hosted by Espen Barth Eide, the special U.N. Cyprus envoy.
In a press statement afterwards, Akıncı described the meeting as “productive.”
Stating that it would not be right to make a unilateral declaration on behalf of the two sides, Akıncı said, “The details of the negotiations should be declared jointly when the two parties are ready for these declarations.”
Akıncı rebuffed Greek media reports claiming Turkish Cypriots had been a bad partner in the talks.
“This is quite out of the question. We have always defended the opinions we have put forth. We seek progress and solutions, so we can never backtrack on our declarations, either verbal or written,” he said.
The negotiations will proceed at an intense rate, Akıncı underlined, adding that the next high-profile meeting was set for May 6, not May 9, as was initially planned.
Reunification talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island resumed in May 2015 when the newly elected Akıncı met with Anastasiades.
Previous negotiations had stalled in October 2014 over a row about gas exploration.
The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot administration in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup on the island was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.