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Greek Cypriots must decide what they want says Akinci

File photo: UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres with President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said on Sunday that as his community did not want to end up being a minority in a unitary state nor a province of Turkey, Greek Cypriots too should figure out what they really wanted.

Addressing an event in the north, Akinci said that either the Greek Cypriots accept the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots in a federal settlement, or the two sides should go their separate ways.

In the case of a federal solution, Akinci said, this would be on the basis of political equality of the two constituent states and there would be rotating presidency.

The Turkish Cypriot side, he said, was assessing the situation, following the deadlock reached at the talks. The two communities share the same geographical space and they ought to have peaceful relations, he added.

The Greek Cypriots, Akinci said, ought to make an assessment and decide what they want. The Turkish Cypriots, he said, did not wish to be a minority in a unitary state, nor a province of Turkey, but part of the international community without living under embargoes.

Just as a Turkish football team recently had the opportunity to play a friendly match with a Greek Cypriots team, the Turkish Cypriot youth should be allowed to so the same.

Despite the fact the majority of Turkish Cypriots voted ‘yes, in the referendum on the Annan plan in 2004, and have proved commitment to a settlement at the talks in Switzerland, they were still faced with embargoes, which was unacceptable, he believed.

He also criticised the Greek Cypriot side for its stance at the talks and for its attacks against the UN and its representatives. The Greek Cypriot side was always attacking all UN Special Advisers.

The Turkish Cypriot side also had issues with UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide, but never attacked him in public or underestimated him, always treating him with respect.

Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot negotiator Ozdil Nami said that the talks in Crans-Montana collapsed because of the insistence of the Greek Cypriot side on getting from Turkey what it wanted regarding security and guarantees while being inflexible on the issues of governance and property.

As to the return of Maronites to their villages in the north which was announced last week by Akinci’s office, Nami said that this would be possible without anyone having to issue an identification card of the breakaway regime.

On the opening of Varosha, Nami said the some ideas, were being considered. Any move would be different from what would happen in the event of a settlement, but it would not bring the north in conflict with the UN and the international community.

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