January will be new beginning for Cyprus reunification talks
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULDec 08, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Dec 08, 2016 12:00 am
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Mustafa Akıncı said on Tuesday in Brussels that January will be a vital month for the future of Turkish Cypriots.
Speaking after his meeting with European Parliament (EP) President Martin Schulz, Akıncı spoke of the latest developments on Cyprus talks.
"We have a road map now and we will meet in Geneva on Jan. 9. After the meeting, which will last for three days, a new conference will start and will include Turkey, Greece and the U.K. on Jan. 12," he declared.
Emphasizing his determination on working for peace for Turkish Cypriots, the president said his government has expressed their ultimate goal, which is the protection of the rights of Turkish Cypriots while respecting the rights of others, as well. Akıncı said: "We have expressed equality, freedom and security as being the key elements of a solution, as we don't demand these rights solely for ourselves but also for other people."
Saying that Greek-Cypriot authorities should approach the talks empathetically and with similar feelings and thoughts, Akıncı said if the Greek side; particularly Greek-Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, adopts a similar mindset, they can reach a referendum which will be supported by the Cyprus public and voted on peacefully.
During his visit, President Akıncı also had a meeting with EU Foreign Affairs' Chief Federica Mogherini. He is scheduled to meet with the president of the EU Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, on Dec. 7.
Reunification talks between the Greek and Turkish communities on the island of Cyprus resumed in May 2015 and are expected to be resolved by the end of 2016 with the formation of a federal administration.
The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into two parts with the Turkish Cypriot state in the north and the Greek Cypriot administration in the south after the 1974 military coup which resulted in Turkish intervention as a guarantor power. In 2004, a peace deal was approved by Turkish Cypriots but rejected by Greek Cypriot voters.
Once a final agreement is reached, it will be brought to both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities in a referendum.