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Cyprus Talks

No deal without rotating presidency, says Akinci

Mustafa Akinci during the televised news conference

THERE will be no settlement agreement without a rotating presidency, Mustafa Akinci said on Friday.

The Turkish Cypriot leader held a separate news conference, following on from that of President Nicos Anastasiades earlier in the evening, before they head off to Switzerland for talks next week.

Akinci said that the rotating presidency was a basic element of political equality. The Greek Cypriot side however, rejects the provision in question.

“If we want a solution there must be rotating presidency.  If this is not accepted (by the Greek Cypriot side) then it (settlement agreement) will not be accepted by the Turkish Cypriots, I can tell you this for a fact,” Akinci said.

He added that the new federal government will have a president and a vice-president, who will also participate in the council of ministers.

There is disagreement however, Akinci said, as the Turkish Cypriot side wants for the president and vice-president to have a vote in cabinet decisions, while the Greek Cypriot side does not agree.

As regards guarantees, Akinci said that his side will not begin the discussion on the basis of ‘zero guarantees, zero troops’. If, however, he said, Turkish Cypriots feel along the way that Turkey’s guarantee is not necessary, they could discuss this.

Akinci said that his community would like to see a Turkish Cypriot president for the country, to participate in the European Union, see the economies of both communities reach the same level, and cooperation among the two sides’ business communities.

As for the natural gas exploration and future output, he said, that it could be channelled through Turkey to the rest of Europe.

The Turkish Cypriot leader expressed his surprise on Anastasiades’ statements that progress must be achieved first, along with the submission of maps on territorial adjustments before the two sides discuss the issue of security in a five-party conference.

“I heard this tonight. We will discuss the criteria, agree on a date on the five-party conference and after this is done, then we will see the map,” Akinci said.

He said that the suggestion of the Turkish Cypriot side was to discuss territory the first few days and security and guarantees the last day, but that it was not accepted.

“We will go to Switzerland in good will though,” Akinci said.

Concerning citizenship, he said, it was agreed that all ‘citizens’ of the breakaway regime will become citizens of the federal state regardless of nationality.

He added that there are people in the north who have been living there for 20 years but have not been granted ‘citizenship’, whereas “in the south they sell citizenships for €2.5m”.

As regards the debt of the Turkish Cypriots to Turkey, Akinci said that Greek Cypriots must not be concerned as they will not be asked to foot the bill.

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