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Cyprus Talks

Akinci: Switzerland a turning point in the negotiations

Mustafa Akinci: the issues left for last are usually the hardest to tackle

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has said the upcoming talks in Switzerland would be a turning point in the Cyprus negotiations.

The leaders are due to meet in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland between November 7 and 11 to discuss territory, it was announced late Wednesday.

Speaking after the five-hour meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades, Akinci said political parties would not be participating in the Turkish Cypriot delegation, because the meeting in Switzerland would not be the last one, Turkish Cypriot press reported on Thursday.

Akinci said that the meeting in Switzerland would be “next to last” and that “we have 45 more days”.

“The meeting in Switzerland is of vital importance. All chapters including the territory will be discussed,” said Akinci. “We will hold meetings day and night in Switzerland because we will not have any other job. It will be a meeting of vital importance for realising the commitment we have for [a solution] by the end of 2016. We are determined to leave a better future for the communities in the island and the young generations.”

He said that for the Turkish Cypriots their equality, freedom and security were important as were the same concerns for Greek Cypriots.

“We have in hand the necessary elements for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. The Switzerland [meeting] will lead us to the final station,” said Akinci.

Afterwards he said “the last crossroad” would be a multi-party conferences on the issue of guarantees.

“We have 45 days in front of us. Therefore, the stage of the five-party conference will come onto the agenda after Switzerland. There could be a ‘road accident’ any time and therefore being cautious is always useful. However, the fact that we have taken the decision for Switzerland is a positive development” Akinci said.

Recalling that in the written statement issued upon an agreement between both sides the UN said that territory would be discussed in an interrelated way with the other unsolved issues in Switzerland, Akinci argued: “Knowing that the final shape will be given at the last five-party conference and without forgetting this, we want the exchange of views on the issues of security and guarantees as well”.

Daily Vatan reported Akinci as saying that in case the process in Switzerland was successful, there would be more optimism for the next stage of the negotiations. If an agreement was reached in 2016, some chapters may remain for 2017, and after the plan is explained to the people, a referendum in June-July 2017 could be possible, the Turkish Cypriot leader said.

 

 

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