President Akıncı: “I would like to talk once again with Anastasiades on how to shape the future of the island.”
“After October 15th, we will be able to come together on a date not far from today.”
Stating that he would like to talk once again with the Greek Cypriot Leader Nicos Anastasiades on how to shape the future of the island, President Mustafa Akıncı said “Because it is our responsibility. Creating a better and greater future on this island is our common responsibility.”
President Akıncı said that he has carried out the process until today knowing very well the power given to him by the people and they will continue to see together how it will evolve from now on. “We want a future in peace and tranquility on this island, we do not want the status quo to persist, it does not help anyone,” he indicated.
Should the unofficial talks become continuous and come to a point where “the Greek Cypriot side is negotiating with Turkey”, President Akıncı noted that will be unacceptable.
President Akıncı stated that they will work with all their power for a better and greater future in the coming days and added “our effort alone is not enough. All parties should contribute to these processes.”
BRIEFING THE GOVERNMENT PARTNERS
Following his meeting with the government partners, President Akıncı made a statement to the press.
President Akıncı noted that after the New York visit, he met with the four political party leaders which form the government and added that tomorrow he will meet with the leaders of the opposition parties represented in the Assembly. Besides, he reminded that he came together with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar earlier today.
President Akıncı, who had talks with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and the Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok in New York, briefed the party leaders of the government regarding these talks.
“WE MADE A TELEPHONE CONVERSATION WITH LUTE YESTERDAY, THE REPORT IS READY”
President Akıncı mentioned that they had a fruitful meeting with the UN Secretary-General in New York. However, as the UN Consultant Jane Holl Lute’s report was not completed, they were unable to make a discussion within the framework of that report. Having made a phone call with Lute yesterday, the President stated that the report is now completed. Adding that a report will be submitted to the UN Security Council on 15th of October by the UN Secretary-General, President Akıncı stated that the report prepared by Lute for the UN Secretary-General is expected to be reflected in the other report to be submitted by the UN Secretary-General to the Security Council on October 15th. The President said: “On October 15th, we will have the opportunity to re-evaluate the situation.” WE HAVE EVALUATED WITH SPEHAR THE CURRENT STATUS ON THE OPENING OF DERINYA AND APLIÇ CROSSING POINTS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
As he previously announced the agenda of his meeting with Spehar today, President Akıncı said they specifically discussed the current status on the opening of Derinya and Aplıç crossing points as soon as possible. After Spehar’s contacts in the Greek Cypriot side, they will get in touch again, the President informed.
Stating that it is possible for the two leaders to come together in the upcoming days, after the report’s submission to the UN Security Council on October 15th, the President expressed his wish to meet with the Greek Cypriot Leader Nicos Anastasiades on a date not far from today.
“I would like to talk once again with Anastasiades on how to shape the future of the island.”
The President continued by saying:“We shall determine together the opening day of Aplıç and Derinya crossing points and announce it to the public together, and also while evaluating the report to be submitted on October 15th, we shall have an exchange of views regarding the future of the island. I would like to discuss with Anastasiades once again on how to shape the future of this island. Because this is our responsibility and I believe it is our responsibility to create a better and greater future on this island.”
“When we meet, I will ask Anastasiades to clarify the matter of loose federation”
When asked about the matter of loose federation, which has been frequently raised in the Greek Cypriot side lately, President Akıncı pointed out that there are speculative news regarding this matter in the recent days and when he meets with Anastasiades, he will also ask him to clarify the matter of loose federation.
President Akıncı continued as follows:“The agreements we reached already provide that all the competences other than the competences to be vested in the federal government will belong to the constituent states. In other words, the issue of ‘residual powers’ is with the constituent states. This includes health, education, public works, commerce, tourism; as many areas as you may count. Furthermore, the constituent states will have the right to conclude international treaties on matters within their sphere of competence. In other words, it is already in the agreements we reached that the constituent states will have the right to conclude international treaties in the fields of education, tourism, culture and commerce. As regards the federal competences, foreign and defence policy and budget come to mind at first, which are naturally so. I do not know which competences Mr. Anastasiades considers to be transferred to the constituent states that were formerly agreed for the federal government. It is not possible to make a further comment as there is no detailed public information about that. When we meet in the upcoming days, we will have the opportunity to talk about these issues.”
Reminding that these issues are known to be the views of the former Greek Cypriot leader Glafkos Clerides, President Akıncı said:“Clerides was of the view that the more we increase the number of the federal competences, the more we increase areas of friction between the two communities. Therefore, he maintained that the federal government is assigned as few competences as possible, while the constituent states have more competences. This is not wrong. We also discussed and reminded these aspects frequently during the negotiation process. However, this approach of Mr. Clerides was somehow forgotten and abandoned at times, and efforts were made to increase the number of federal competences. It seems that a totally different approach is now adopted. But there is no ongoing negotiation process at the moment. Therefore, I hope we will have an opportunity to evaluate these even in a social meeting. I believe it will be helpful if Mr. Anastasiades expresses in a concise and concrete manner what he thinks and what this means in foreseeing the future.”
“If Turkey and the Greek Cypriot side come to a point where they start negotiating, the Turkish Cypriot people will be disturbed.” In response to a question, President Akıncı reminded that, in a previous statement, he said Mr. Çavuşoğlu had already informed that he could meet with Anastasiades and Kyprianou informally, as they did before, to explore their intentions.
The president said as follows:“We do not consider this as very problematic. You may come together in order to explore intentions, this is not a problem. Indeed, it is not a secret that such meetings were held in Crans-Montana and this can happen again. Yet, my objection is – I want to make it very clear, as I made before – that if such meetings take place on a continuous basis, even though ‘unofficial’, and get to a point where Turkey and the Greek Cypriot side start negotiating, the Turkish Cypriot people will be disturbed by this, and as its elected leader, of course, I will also be disturbed and I do not hide this.”
If four parties (Turkey, Greece, the Turkish Cypriot side and the Greek Cypriot side) agree to hold such meetings, I do not object to it. It was also in my statement that when we meet with Mr. Erdoğan, in case the Greek Cypriot side and Greece so wish, we can meet as four parties socially and unofficially. The four of us, Mr. Erdoğan, Mr. Tsipras, Mr. Anastasiades and I can come together. If Anastasiades wants to visit Ankara, he may go, but the leader of the Turkish Cypriot people should be able to visit Athens as well.”
President Akıncı said that cross-visits were conducted by the negotiators for only one time; recalling that the Greek Cypriot negotiator visited Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot negotiator visited Athens. He said that these meetings did not continue and that the Greek Cypriot side and Greece didn’t want to continue these meetings.
Emphasizing the importance of reciprocity on such matters and the need to pay attention to these issues, he stated that “You may come together once or twice and have a conversation unofficially, but if this is held on a continuous basis and becomes like ‘Turkey and the Greek Cypriot side are negotiating’, then it cannot be acceptable.”
Upon a question - regarding the meeting of Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of HP Kudret Özersay with DISI Leader Averoff Neofitou - “Mr. Özersay stated that an unofficial negotiation process has started. In your statements, you are saying that the problem is with regard to the method of the negotiations, yet Mr. Özersay is saying that the problem is about the essence. If this is the case, don’t you think that this causes a duality?” President Akıncı pointed out that Mr. Özersay and Neofitou met as party leaders and that contacts between political parties are very beneficial.Stating that it is beneficial for all the party leaders to exchange their ideas with each other, President Akıncı said “Therefore, it is not a problem as long as it remains within this framework. He may also meet with Kyprianou and I don't think this will constitute a problem.” “It is necessary to remain within the UN framework”
President Akıncı said that he assumed other parties would also have contacts, however warned that it is necessary to remain within the UN framework. He said:“Regarding my position, I have an authority given to me by the people, I am not a party leader, I am the elected president of the Turkish Cypriot people. Although the Greek Cypriot side or third parties do not officially recognize our presidency, the whole world sees and recognizes that I am the elected leader of the Turkish Cypriot people, so they are in contact with us. With that capacity of mine and within the authority I received from my people, I have brought this process to this day, we will see how the process will evolve from now onwards.”
“We want a future in peace and tranquility on this island, we do not want the continuation of the status quo since it is in no one’s benefit and I believe that it is necessary to remain within the UN framework. This point is very important. It means everyone can establish contacts between the parties within their own frameworks, tete-a-tete meetings are possible, I do not rule out them, we did it in the past and we can do it again. But if we are to contact each other as the sides, I believe that the UN, in one way or another, should and will be involved.”
Stating that the Turkish Cypriot side will do its utmost for a better and greater future, President Akıncı said “But our efforts alone will not be enough. All parties should contribute to these processes. We had a fruitful meeting with the UN Secretary General. The UN Secretary General, as someone who knows our stance since the beginning, knows, sees and understands our position and is very much aware of everything.”