Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci who returned to the island on Tuesday evening said he had not gone to Mont Pelerin to surrender the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.
Akinci briefed the press with regards to the two-day negotiation process in Mont Pelerin on his arrival at Ercan and pointed out that the discussions had collapsed there because of what he described as the Greek Cypriot side’s approach on territory.
Akinci said he was sad that he was unable to give the Turkish Cypriots good news but pointed out that the discussions in Mont Pelerin had pushed the Turkish and Greek leadership into meeting soon as both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras were in discussions to meet.
With regards to the five-party conference, Akinci said that discussions for a date had been talked about; however with Greece announcing that they would only come to the multiparty conference on preconditions had led to UN Special Advisor, Espen Barth Eide, to speak with both the Greek and Turkish leadership on the phone. It was after this diplomacy that the UN confirmed Greece would come to the meeting without preconditions.
Akinci went on to say “We didn’t go to Mont Pelerin to surrender the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. The Greek Cypriots wanted the important criteria in territory to remain ambiguous. This is not a way to run the negotiations,” he said.
He went on that the territory issue was a difficult one and one that foreigners had put in front of the two sides over the past years. “This was the first time as Cypriots that we were trying to solve this issue ourselves,” said Akinci.
“We went with all good intentions. We took important steps but we did not see the same from the south. It was their insistence on territory that led to the failure of the talks there,” he said.
He also said that he had called for an extraordinary meeting of the Turkish Cypriot assembly on Thursday to brief the political parties.
Akinci called on the public to keep their moral high and added that the Greek Cypriot side had to change the stance they displayed in Mont Pelerin. “We are not in the intention of playing the blame game,” he added.
“We will not enter into a position which will result in a non-solution nor run away from the talks. However it is not right to continue with a process which will not result in a solution either,” he said.