The prime minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) Hüseyin Özgürgün paid a visit to Turkey on Monday where he met with Turkish Prime Minister Binalı Yıldırım and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara.
Prime Minister Özgürgün's visit took place ahead of the Geneva, Switzerland talks held between Jan. 9-12, which is widely considered as the last chance for the unification of Cyprus.
Sources from the Turkish Prime Ministry confirmed that during the meetings that took more than two hours, the two leaders and their delegations talked about the latest developments of peace negotiations and the implementation details of the 2016-2018 Turkey-KKTC economic and financial cooperation protocol.
According to the protocol, Turkey will grant a transfer of TL 1.2 billion ($340 million) to the KKTC in financial aid every year, while asking the KKTC government to initiate several reforms to restructure state institutions in order to have a sustainable economy.
Moreover, implementation of the energy project that aims to connect the KKTC power network with Turkey, via an underwater cable network, was also discussed between the two prime ministers.
Following the prime ministers' meeting, Özgürgün was received by President Erdoğan. In a meeting that lasted just over an hour, the two discussed the current stage of the peace talks and the upcoming Geneva talks.
In the meeting, President Erdoğan reportedly confirmed that he will attend the five-party Cyprus conference that will be held in Geneva on Jan. 12 and assured Turkey's support to the KKTC government in the upcoming negotiations.
On the other hand, Özgürgün underlined that there was no discrepancy between Turkey and the KKTC in critical issues such as Turkey's effective status as a guarantor state.
Prior to the five-party conference, the KKTC delegation, led by Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı and the Greek Cypriot delegation led by counterpart Nicos Anastasiades, will hold talks in Geneva on Jan. 9.
Speaking ahead of the crucial meeting, Akıncı said they are unwavering and determined, with the goal of establishing a new federal Cyprus where Cypriots can live equally in freedom and security.
"It is not possible to determine how these meetings will conclude but we shall be attending the talks in Geneva, determined to achieve the goal of establishing a new federal Cyprus where Turkish Cypriots will be able to live in equality, freedom, security and where they can exercise their own political will," Akıncı said on Saturday in his New Year's message.
Meanwhile Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades said the task ahead was a difficult one.
"There remain significant differences on substantive issues fundamental to a Cyprus solution," Anastasiades said on Saturday.
Cyprus 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.
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