Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to call for a five-party informal meeting as soon as possible to clarify if all sides agree to seek a solution based on a bicommunal bizonal federation (BBF).
In his letter to Guterres dated July 10, the content of which was published by the Turkish Cypriot TAK news agency, Akinci asks for an informal meeting to eliminate the “turbulent landscape caused by the statements of the Greek Cypriot leader.”
Akinci argues that there has been confusion as to whether there is a real will from the Greek Cypriot side for a comprehensive settlement since its leadership sent out mixed messages on the basis of the solution to different interlocutors on various occasions.
He said it must be made clear if everyone agrees on a BBF on the basis of political equality.
For that reason, he called on Guterres to convene a five-party informal UN-sponsored meeting, including representation from the EU, to confirm whether all parties have the same goal.
He adds that if this was confirmed, there must be a process of talks under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General with a clear timetable, and focused on a solution.
Akinci said he felt the need to address Guterres since his special envoy Jane Holl Lute’s contacts had hit a dead end while at the same time tensions were increasing in the Eastern Mediterranean.
He also said the Turkish Cypriot side was constructively working with Lute and argued that the two sides needed to reaffirm their commitment to the convergences reached at the talks since the proposals of the Greek Cypriot side show that they went back on convergences already reached.
Akinci said the biggest obstacle was that the Greek Cypriot side was more opposed to the issue of political equality.
He said the proposal for a decentralised structure with less power given to the federal government was always an approach of the Turkish Cypriot side in the talks but that this could not be used to ignore their political equality.
Akinci also said the proposal by the Greek Cypriot side for a parliamentary system with a permanent Greek Cypriot president and Turkish Cypriot vice-president and rotating prime minister and deputy prime minister was contrary Guterres’ six points.
This proposal was discussed in the early stages of the last round of negotiations and was rejected by both parties, he said. Thus, by setting this as a new idea to overcome the deadlock, it clearly shows that the Greek Cypriot leadership was trying to get rid of the rotating presidency, Akinci agued.
Akinci also said he made proposals for cooperation between the two sides and that they were still valid but that the Greek Cypriot side ignored them and continued their unilateral actions while putting the blame on the Turkish side, which had to react to maintain its legitimate rights and interests.