Turkish Cyprus pushes for deadline to discuss map
MONT PELERIN, Switzerland
AFP photoTurkish Cyprus is pushing for a deadline in the peace talks to begin discussions over land issues in a bid to take a major step to reach a final agreement.
Barış Burcu, the spokesperson for Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı, said they were pushing for a deadline in the peace talks in order to discuss the map of a possible united federal state in Cyprus.
“When the date of the quintet conference, which will lead us to the final phase, is set, then the work on projecting of the negotiated criteria [during the peace talks] on the map will start simultaneously,” said Burcu on Nov. 9 during a press conference in Switzerland’s Mont Pelerin, where the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides are holding intense negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency cited diplomatic sources as saying that if the date of the quintet conference would not be set, then the agreement reached in Cyprus and conveyed in written format to the two leaders by the U.N. would be broken and the process would not continue.
The Eastern Mediterranean resort island has been split since 1974, when Turkish troops partially intervened into the north of the island in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece.
During five days of negotiations, which started on Nov. 7 and will last until Nov. 11, at the luxury Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin near Lake Geneva, the two leaders were set to directly discuss the thorny issue of territorial adjustments for the first time.
Evaluating the progress made so far in the intense negotiations, Burcu said a respectable amount of progress has been made in the four main chapters, those being the chapters of governance and power-sharing, economy, the European Union matters and property.
“Right now the leaders are continuing to conduct these negotiations. I can say that as a beginning, we are working over the territories criteria in a good atmosphere,” said Burcu. “I can say the negotiations so far are satisfactory as planned.”
Burcu said no full consensus had been reached on the chapters but the “negotiations process was continuing with bona fides and good initiatives.”
The U.N. has launched several failed peace drives over the last four decades, but the latest bid between Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Akıncı has been billed as the last best hope for an enduring truce.
Speaking at the opening of the intense talks in Mont Pelerin, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Nov. 7 that a deal to unify Cyprus was “within reach.”