Pres­i­dent: The prob­lem has al­ways been, and still is, the mentality of the Greek Cypriot lead­er­ship

Cyprus Today - - NEWS - By KEREM HASAN

PRES­I­DENT Mustafa Akıncı has lashed out at the Greek Cypriot side for mak­ing a show of ne­go­ti­at­ing while they re­ally “want to keep the sta­tus quo — which is not to the ben­e­fit of the Turk­ish Cypri­ots”.

In an in­ter­view on TRT World tele­vi­sion, Mr Akıncı said the only peace deal on the ta­ble for decades had been a “bi­zonal, bi­com­mu­nal fed­er­a­tion, on the ba­sis of po­lit­i­cal equal­ity” — and that fail­ure to achieve a so­lu­tion on that ba­sis lay not with the pa­ram­e­ters them­selves.

“The prob­lem has al­ways been, and still is, the mentality of the Greek Cypriot lead­er­ship.”

An­swer­ing re­cent com­ments from Turk­ish For­eign Min­is­ter Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu that Mr Akıncı’s in­sis­tence on a fed­eral so­lu­tion “was his own view”, while Ankara’s po­si­tion in­volved ex­plor­ing “al­ter­na­tive” mod­els for a set­tle­ment, the pres­i­dent said: “Like too many peo­ple, [Mr Çavuşoğlu] is also fed up with the Greek Cypri­ots’ at­ti­tude and is also try­ing to un­der­stand what [their] leader is re­ally seek­ing.”

Mr Akıncı re­ferred to Greek Cypriot leader Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades’s moot­ing, last month, of seek­ing a “de­cen­tralised” fed­er­a­tion, and to the lat­ter hav­ing “aired views as if he would be in­clined to try to form a two-state so­lu­tion” dur­ing last year’s failed peace sum­mit at Crans-Mon­tana, Switzer­land, and com­mented: “When I met [Mr Anas­tasi­ades] in April, I ques­tioned this. He went around the is­sue with­out say­ing any­thing con­crete. So I asked again, ‘is it on the agenda or not? I need to know as your in­ter­locu­tor.’ He said, ‘No, no it is not on the agenda.’”

Dis­miss­ing spec­u­la­tion of a dip in TRNC-Turk­ish re­la­tions, Mr Akıncı said ties be­tween the coun­tries had evolved since the 1960s and ’70s and in­sisted they were in “com­plete agree­ment” over the thorny is­sue of Greek Cypriot hy­dro­car­bons ex­plo­ration off the is­land.

He said they had “been ask­ing our fu­ture po­ten­tial part­ners, the Greek Cypri­ots, to form a com­mit­tee with us” to un­der­take drilling, adding: “In­stead of cre­at­ing ten­sion, I am ask­ing to cre­ate co­op­er­a­tion.”

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and For­eign Min­is­ter Ku­dret Öz­er­say also spoke out about the is­sues, telling the TRNC’s Tak news agency that the op­tions fac­ing the two sides in any fresh peace talks — for which tem­po­rary en­voy Jane Holl Lute is due on the is­land this month to lay the ground­work — “were ob­vi­ous”.

“Ei­ther there will be a trans­for­ma­tion of the Greek Cypriot side to share gov­er­nance and re­sources and with this a fi­nite process to­wards a fed­er­a­tion,” he said.

“Or there will be a non-fed­eral model based more on co­op­er­a­tion which also does not re­quire the shar­ing of gov­er­nance and nat­u­ral re­sources, and that would again not be based on an open-ended process. Ne­go­ti­at­ing with the mentality shown by the Greek Cypri­ots will leave us in a vi­cious cir­cle.”

TRNC Pres­i­dent Akıncı speak­ing on TRT World

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