Next phase of Cyprus peace talks aims to build more trust, avoid misunderstandings

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
LEFKOŞA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Published 25.06.2015 09:58
Updated 25.06.2015 10:00
emAA Photo/em
AA Photo

Cyprus peace talks will enter a new phase on June 29 with the pursuit of building further trust between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Presidency spokesman Barış Burcu said Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference in the TRNC capital of Lefkoşa, Burcu said: "The measures for developing trust should continue, that's the main principle. There is no need for new mistrustfulness, misunderstandings and conflicts".

The spokesman highlighted that Turkish Cypriots along with Turkey had a solution-oriented vision to resolve the Cyprus issue and hoped that the Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, too would contribute in the talks by building a common vision.

About the issue of the abandoned resort city of Maraş (Varosha), the spokesman said: "Firstly, there has to be a feasibility study in the abandoned resort city of Maraş and there might be a need to set up a team on this issue, but the developments during talks are giving hope about creating opportunities [to resolve such issues] on the whole".

The European Parliament in its recent report had called on Turkey to begin withdrawing its troops and transfer the abandoned resort city of Maraş (Varosha) to the United Nations.

Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı said on Monday that the ongoing Cyprus peace talks aimed to realize a framework during a UN meeting in September in New York where the guarantor countries would also join.

According to the 1960 "Treaty of Guarantee," Turkey, Greece and the U.K. are named as the guarantor countries of the island's two communities, Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.

On June 17, Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders along with UN's Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide gathered at the UN's Good Office on the island for their third meeting. The next meeting on June 29 will be the fourth such meeting between the two sides.

Political tensions in the long-divided island have eased since talks resumed on May 15.

On May 28, leaders agreed on a five-step plan to resolve the Cyprus issue following a meeting hosted by Eide. These steps included opening more crossing points, interconnecting power grids, allowing mobile phone interoperability on both sides of the island, resolving the issue of radio frequency conflicts, and forming a joint committee on gender equality.

Peace talks were unilaterally suspended by the Greek Cypriot administration last October after Turkey issued an advisory on behalf of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for seismic research off the coast of Cyprus.

The island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot government in the northern one third and a Greek Cypriot administration in the southern two-thirds after a 1974 military coup by Greece was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor state in Cyprus. Border gates between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Greek-administered southern Cyprus were opened on April 2003.

Turkish leaders have consistently affirmed that they are determined to bring a permanent resolution to the conflict on the divided island, and have urged the international community to contribute to peace.

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