Turkish Cypriots will not appoint new negotiator for reunification talks

Turkish Cypriots will not appoint new negotiator for reunification talks

Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı said Monday that he would not appoint a new negotiator for the island's reunification talks.

"I am not thinking of appointing a new negotiator right now," he said at the presidential palace in the capital Nicosia.

His remarks came after he received former Chief Negotiator Özdil Nami, who was appointed Economy and Energy Minister, following the Jan. 7 snap elections.

Akıncı said the reason behind continuing with the current negotiator was that the Turkish side did not want the status quo to continue for another 50 years.

Reunification talks, which ended in failure in the Swiss city of Crans-Montana last July, could only commence if the Greek side changed their mentality, he added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turkish population, and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

The island-nation has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including the latest initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and Britain collapsing last year.

Turkey blamed Greek Cypriot's inflexibility for the failure while also criticizing the European Union for admitting Cyprus as a divided island into the union in 2004 after Greek Cypriot voters rejected a peace deal.