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Cyprus Cyprus Talks

Preparations underway in north to move to euro (updated)

The two leaders on Monday night

Technical operations are underway in the north for the transition from the Turkish lira to the euro in the event of a settlement of the Cyprus problem, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci told NTV channel on Tuesday.

According to Akinci, during Monday’s meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades, the two leaders agreed to create a committee for economic harmonisation, with European Union experts expected to arrive on the island to assist with operations.

The goal, the Turkish Cypriot leader said, is for preparation for the transition to the euro to be concluded as soon as possible.

Akinci added that the transition to the European currency, customs union and other harmonisation operations cannot be left until after a referendum that produces a positive result.

“This is a process, and the first stage includes the creation of a committee for the transition to the euro and customs union,” Akinci said.

“Next on the agenda will be harmonisation with EU law on health, environment, and other issues.”

He noted that the technical aspects of the transition from the Turkish lira to the euro will require deliberations with Turkey, and added that the goal is to abolish the Green Line regulation.

Akinci said that the issue of monetary transition and customs union were discussed during his visits to Brussels and New York, and that European officials assured him preparation would be expedited.

He and Anastasiades agreed on Monday to institute an ad hoc committee for the north’s harmonisation with the EU’s acquis communautaire.

Meanwhile, speaking at the inaugural lesson for the new academic year at the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) in occupied Famagusta, Akinci said that despite the two sides’ diverging interpretations of bizonality, “the future must be secured through lessons from the past”.

“The region needs a good example,” he said, according to Turkish Cypriot media.

“Having experienced partition, there is a circumstance from which good examples can emerge, like unification, bringing the two sides together, co-operation, common benefits, unifying energy policy, and creating win-win situations.”

Reiterating his interpretation of bizonality, Akinci said he keeps nothing from his people.

“There are differences in some terms,” he said.

“Their interpretation of bizonality is different to ours. But we must learn the lessons from the past in order to secure the future. I believe we can iron these differences out in two months.”

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