AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou said on Sunday that Turkey was allow Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci a free rein on internal issues associated with the Cyprus issue at the negotiating table, while Ankara was more concerned with security and guarantees.
Kyprianou was speaking Sunday afternoon on his return to Cyprus from Istanbul where he met with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu on Saturday.
He said it was evident from the discussions that Turkey wanted to play a role in the issue of guarantees but, he said it seemed there was room for dialogue to see if there was something the two Cypriot sides would be agreeable to.
“The visit has achieved the objectives we set from the outset… that is to meet with Turkish Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister who can take on board over time the positions of the Greek Cypriot side as formed the National Council,” said Kyprianou.
“The second objective was to hear from their side and possibly to try to diagnose what might be hidden behind their words.”
He said the first and important message was that the Turkish leadership seemed to understand that without a solution to the Cyprus issue, Ankara would not be able to play an important role in the southeastern Mediterranean.
“The Turkish Prime Minister specifically said they would be interested in a partnership with Greece and Cyprus after the solution of the Cyprus problem in order to help develop the region,” Kyprianou said.
“Another message they gave is that they support Mr Akinci in its efforts at the negotiating table. Mr. Akinci has full discretion to handle internal matters. Turkey is more interested in issues relating to security, guarantees and demilitarisation, from what I understand.”
He added that it was his impression that Turkey wanted to play a role in the security matters but in a different way than it applies today under the system of guarantor powers and hope to see if the possibility of a different approach “accepted by both communities” was possible.
“Our position is clear that we cannot accept Turkey as a guarantor and in no instance can accept unilateral intervention rights from Turkey.”
Asked whether the Turks were discussing this particular issue, Kyprianou said: “All these aspects are messages that we have taken and will have to look at to find a concrete application at the table.”
“We made it clear from our side that there can be a solution only if and when the conditions are created that would allow both sides to say yes in the referendum. Obviously there are differences and disagreements between us and this was evident during the discussions that we had. ”
He added that the only way to solve disagreements was through dialogue and said both sides at Saturday’s meetings had expressed a desire to keep the lines of communication open.
Kyprianou said he had already briefed President Nicos Anastasiades on the visit by phone and would arrange a meeting at the palace in the coming week.
He has also spoken to the Greek foreign minister who will be in Istanbul on Monday for a meeting with his Turkish counterpart.