Cyprus negotiations expected to leap forward in New York, says President Akıncı

LEFKOŞA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Published 22.06.2015 00:00
Updated 22.06.2015 21:54

Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı has said the ongoing Cyprus peace talks aim to take a leap forward during a multilateral meeting September.

"It is an undeclared goal for all sides to strike more balance and realize a framework [during a UN meeting] in September in New York where the guarantor countries would also join," he said during a reception in the capital of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Lefkoşa, on Monday.

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.

Akıncı said that neither side desired a delay or a waste of time during the peace talks.

He recalled that both the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides had already taken steps towards confidence-building measures, as agreed on May 28 as part of the resumed talks.

"The main aim during the talks is to take further steps as soon as possible for the permanent solution and hold a multilateral meeting in September in New York, if possible, to have all sides on the same table on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly," he said.

Akıncı described the expected multilateral meeting as a "phenomenon not perceptibly presented or announced", but one that all, including the United Nations itself had in mind.

"It rests with the sides to enable that... Such a meeting is quite likely in September if we can achieve this in the next talks," he added.

Akıncı further noted that the multilateral conference in New York depended on the headway both sides would achieve by then, adding: "We still have a long way to go in the talks."

On Wednesday, 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, with the next meeting expected on June 29.

"Upon completing the baseline assessment, the leaders are now entering into substantive negotiations over unresolved core issues," Eide said.

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.

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