Turkish Cypriots: Political equity a must in Cyprus negotiations

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 08.02.2019 00:03 Modified 08.02.2019 00:03

The Turkish Cypriot presidential spokesman said Wednesday that the resumption of negotiations depended on their political equity and active participation in the decision mechanism.

In a statement, Barış Burcu confirmed that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı and the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades had a telephone conversation, where they agreed to meet in person.

"It is of no doubt that the Turkish Cypriots' political equity and participation in decision-making were preconditions to the resumption of Cyprus negotiations while remaining faithful to the past agreements," the statement read.

The statement added that Akıncı told Anastasiades he expected to listen to concrete proposals on expanding the authorization power of the founding states, and both leaders agreed to continue negotiations to meet late February, with the U.N. special representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar. The Cypriot leaders and Spehar last came together late October in the buffer zone in Cyprus, patrolled by the U.N. Peacekeeping Force.

Meanwhile, Turkey's Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu met yesterday with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart in Nicosia, capital of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Soylu and Ayşegül Baybars held a news conference prior to a closed door meeting.

Noting the brotherly relations between Turkey and the TRNC, Soylu stressed the importance of cooperation on fighting all terrorist organizations.

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

It 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 the U.K., collapsing in 2017. The Turkish side has always been a supportive actor of U.N.-led negotiations to find a just and viable settlement to the Cyprus issue. However, the peace talks on the ethnically divided island have yielded no results so far. Turkey has blamed the Greek Cypriot intransigence for the failure of the talks, with rejections of several agreements and proposals in 1986, 1992 and 2014.

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