Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci sounded an upbeat note on Thursday, saying he looked forward to “productive negotiations” leading to a settlement of the Cyprus issue over the next few months.
“Hopefully, we will achieve a mutually acceptable solution in months, rather than years,” Akinci told reporters in New York coming out of a half-hour meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The new Turkish Cypriot leader, elected on a plank to push for peace, repeatedly alluded to a positive climate shaping on the island.
“We look from now on to have productive negotiations and productive CBMs (confidence-building measures). This is what we are trying to achieve actually, to create a better future for the younger generations.”
Akinci said the UN chief was “very satisfied” with what he has heard from the leaders and from UNSG Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide.
Whereas Cypriots are the main actors in the drive for a lasting settlement, Akinci said, he welcomed the engagement of the international community, including the European Union, as well as Cyprus’ guarantor powers – Greece and Turkey.
“It is often said that it takes two to tango. But in this case, I think we need a line dance, like the Greek sirtaki,” he noted.
Akinci said he was optimistic as both communities’ leaders are committed to a solution.
“This time we have two leaders who, ten years ago, supported the Annan plan. I continue to share this vision, and I hope Mr. Anastasiades will also share this vision in the coming months.”
By Elias Hazou for Cyprus Mail