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Cyprus may see referendum mid-2017, Akıncı says

ANADOLU AGENCY
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
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Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı said a referendum may be held in Cyprus mid-2017.

Speaking after a meeting with British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, Akıncı said it was not possible to resolve "all the details of the dispute" by the end of this year.

"Let's get an outline [and] wait to learn more about what will happen concerning the territories and the pending issues pertaining to our political equality," Akıncı said.

In his remarks, the Cypriot leader said several issues with writing the constitutions and its implementation might continue into 2017, adding that the first three months would see the preparation of the constitutions.

"In the second quarter of 2017, an adequate time will be given to our people. Everyone will see that the issues are agreed upon. Referendums may be held in mid-2017," Akıncı added.

Johnson, for his part, thanked Akıncı for his effort during the ongoing peace talks about the divided island and said, "Britain wishes to help solve the Cyprus dispute."

The U.S. State Department said Wednesday that the U.S. continues to support the U.N.-led and facilitated process, adding that it was encouraged by the progress made so far this year.

"Our focus remains on supporting efforts by the parties to reach a comprehensive settlement and to reunify Cyprus as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation," agency spokesman Mark Toner said during a press briefing.

Last Monday, U.N.-mediated peace talks on Cyprus between Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades in Mont Pelerin ended without a solution.

Reunification discussions resumed in May 2015, and both sides repeatedly expressed optimism that a solution could be found by the end of 2016.

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