By Angelos Anastasiou
Turkish Foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday that a solution to the Cyprus problem was possible within the year if both sides were determined, and that the time to discuss the issue of guarantees was not now, but in the final stage of the negotiations.
In a joint press conference with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in the north, Cavusoglu said that negotiations to settle the Cyprus problem were ongoing, and at the end of the road map there would be a five-party summit, where issues like guarantees could be discussed.
“Talking about such matters now, and bringing them to the fore, is pointless, and to no one’s benefit,” he said.
“When the time comes we will announce our position and our views.”
Akinci said that Cavusoglu and the Turkish foreign ministry honestly believe that the time for a settlement has come.
“The time has come for our community to live in Cyprus with equality and security, and the negotiations are aimed in this direction,” he said.
The Turkish Cypriot leader expressed the hope that together with President Nicos Anastasiades, with whom he will meet on Thursday, they will be able to go all the way, so that “younger generations can have a different future in Cyprus”.
On behalf of Ankara, Cavusoglu welcomed the resumption of talks this month, after the nine-month hiatus since last October. He voiced support for the leaders’ decision to meet bi-weekly, with their negotiators holding more frequent sessions.
“If both sides are determined, a permanent solution for permanent peace can be achieved within the year,” the Turkish Foreign minister said.
“On Turkey’s part, we have the determination we showed in 2004, and even more – this is not a concession, as the press sometimes claims, but Turkey’s resolve for a permanent solution. And I see the same resolve in Mr Akinci, [Turkish Cypriot negotiator] Ozdil Nami, and the members of the negotiating team.”
Cavusoglu said he hopes that the determination shown by the Greek Cypriot side so far increases, so that a positive result can be achieved.
“A solution will be to the benefit of everyone, and Cyprus will turn into an island of peace and growth,” he said.
“We will continue to support the Turkish Cypriots, financially and otherwise. But our strongest support is for the ongoing negotiations, and we hope to come to a permanent solution by the end of this year.”