The Greek Cypriot leader should prepare himself and his community for a federal settlement or possibly have a solution of two equal states existing side by side, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said on Friday.
He said they were working to create a federal structure on the basis of political equality but in the meantime Turkish Cypriots could not be isolated from the rest of the world.
He was speaking at a reception of a delegation of children taking part in the 19th children’s festival in the north.
Akinci said seven countries were taking part but only five did in the end because the Serbian and Russian delegations were prevented “due to the intransigent stance of the Greek Cypriot administration.”
Akinci said this was unacceptable and that he had taken it up with President Nicos Anastasiades during their meeting on Thursday night.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Akıncı said the matter had truly damaged confidence and trust.
He said a group from Lithuania had been allowed through in the past without any problems because of their EU membership.
Barring the Serbian and Russian group had been unfair on the kids, he said.
During their meeting, Anastasiades had conveyed to Akinci his concerns regarding the Turkish Navtex, saying it was against the spirit of good will in the talks and did not contribute to the positive atmosphere.
Akinci told Anastasiades the Navtex was in response to the Greek Cypriot side’s “stubbornness and persistence” to go ahead with unilateral hydrocarbon exploration activities off the coast of the island.
Akıncı reminded that this was the first issue he had brought up four days before the talks had begun on May 15, 2015.
“This was the first issue I had brought up during our meeting at Ledra Palace. The issue of hydrocarbon exploration was one issue that we had to keep away from while conducting negotiations,” Akinci said.
“We had said we would either set up a committee or postpone the matter completely giving the negotiations a chance. Unfortunately, this is not what we are seeing. The Turkish Cypriot side will be taking joint steps with Turkey to defend its rights in an environment when new activities will begin in July.”
The Turkish Cypriot leader suggested it would be extremely difficult to achieve any progress in the three remaining meetings if the talks continued in this manner.
“I do not want to sound pessimistic but as everyone can see things will become extremely difficult as of July. It would be extremely useful if the UN, through a form of shuttle diplomacy, could come up with effective advice in drawing up a general picture of the situation, at least on the four main chapters. If we fail to draw a comprehensive picture we are going to end up, as we did tonight, spending hours discussing the same issue without reaching any results,” he added.