Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said the attendance of the two leaders at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in Switzerland would help gauge international interest in helping finance a Cyprus solution.
In an interview with Turkish mainland newspaper Milliyet, Akinci said the international interest in a solution was growing, and that contacts made at the WEF would highlight the Turkish Cypriot side’s determination for a settlement.
“The Turkish Cypriot side wants a solution in good faith,” he said, adding that he hoped the negotiations process would benefit from the increased international interest.
In Davos, he said, the leaders might be able to gauge interest in financing the solution.
“One of the sponsors of the solution will be the solution of the Cyprus problem itself,” said Akinci. “There is no expectation of a free ride. Cyprus with the solution will be a big area of investment.”
President Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday in an interview with Reuters that the solution financing was a big part of the Davos visit. Asked what support they would seek in Davos, he said any Cyprus deal would require “billions of euros” in financial aid.
Cyprus would also need expertise and advice from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and investment in its economic recovery, he told the news agency.
On Thursday morning the two leaders will present their case at a Davos forum titled ‘Reuniting Cyprus’, along with UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide, who is also Managing Director of the WEF.
Akinci, in his Milliyet interview also welcomed Anastasiades’ move to have Turkish registered as an EU language as it is also an official language of the Republic. Akinci said he had discussed the issue beforehand with Anastasiades.
“This will be very beneficial. I wish it had been done much earlier but even before a solution it will be a very important development,” he said.
Following the joint forum, the two leaders will have a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Both leaders will also meet separately with US Vice President Joe Biden.