AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou said it was clear from his meetings with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu in Istanbul on Saturday that Ankara did want to see a Cyprus solution but, he tweeted on Sunday that this needed to be proved at the negotiating table.
Kyprianou said late on Saturday, following the two meetings that both sides know where they stand and that he could see that Turkey needed “convincing” on some of the issues.
His task, he said, had been to pass on the positions of the Greek Cypriot side and listen to the views of the Turkish leadership on matters where there is disagreement in the negotiations – mainly on guarantees – which Turkey wants to keep in place in some form.
“I want to make it clear that it will not be easy… the road to a solution,” Kyprianou said. “We need to convince them as regards a number of issues which are fixed positions from our side. Our view is that we should continue this effort… I am absolutely sure that we can convince them on some issues.”
Kyprianou said Davutoglu had expressed the desire and the will of Turkey to contribute to these efforts.
“He considers that a Cyprus solution will contribute greatly to achieving a co-operation in southeastern Mediterranean, and considers that the united Cyprus along with Turkey and Greece can play an important role in this context,” the AKEL chief said.
Davutoglu had repeatedly, during their meeting said that Ankara wanted to see a Cyprus solution. “Whether such a solution is achieved will depend on the positions to be deposited on the table,” Kyprianou added.
Asked if he was optimistic, Kyprianou said there was much work to do, and mentioning the guarantees, he said the point was to convince Turkey of the correctness of the Greek Cypriot side’s position that an EU solution would have those guarantees built in.
The issue of a multi-party conference with the guarantor powers was not raised, Kyprianou said.
In his comments, Cavusoglu described his meeting with Kyprianou as very positive and that it was important that AKEL supported President Nicos Anastasiades in the negotiations.
“We spoke openly. The position of AKEL is positive on the issue of settlement of the Cyprus problem,” said Cavusoglu.
“We will continue to support the solution of the Cyprus problem,” he added, saying that the support of Greece was also important. In that context, he said, Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Kotzias would be in Istanbul on Monday.
“We need a greater contribution of Greece and Turkey on the Cyprus issue,” Cavusoglu said.
The Cyprus negotiations had revived hopes that a settlement could be reached, he said, adding that it was the last window of opportunity and should not be missed.
“I hope the two sides can reach an agreement,” Cavusoglu said.
Commenting on Turkish press reports that President Nicos Anastasiades was due to visit Istanbul, Cavusoglu said there was no such issue.
Kyprianou is due to make statements to the media when he returns to Cyprus on Sunday afternoon.