Current peace talks aimed at finding a comprehensive solution in Cyprus are the “last chance” president Mustafa Akinci has said.
Mr Akinci’s comments came as he received a delegation on Monday from the Martyr Families’ and Veterans’ Association, one of a series of meetings to mark the 41st anniversary of the Turkish military operation:
“The Greek Cypriot leader and I are of the same generation,” he said.
“If we also cannot succeed then no generation after us will… The Greek Cypriot side must understand this. I am hoping that they will.”
“Let us make the best possible use of this, the last chance. What we want is our equality, freedom and security… these three [things] are extremely important for us and must take their place in any solution.”
Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu issued a statement where he emphasised Turkey’s support for the negotiations: “We salute the constructive and good-willed approach of the Turkish Cypriot side.
“If the Greek Cypriot side also reciprocate the political will and determination shown by the Turkish Cypriots… it will be possible to reach a just, sustainable and permanent, solution.
He said Turkey would “not allow” Turkish Cypriots to “continue being subject to the inhumane isolations which lack legitimacy”.
In South Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades used a ceremony to mark the events of 1974 to say that “our struggle for the liberation and reunification of Cyprus will continue”.
The Greek Cypriot leader added: “We owe it to future generations, to deliver them a free country, a country without occupation armies, a country that will guarantee the peace… of its entire people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike.”
He went on to say that “we left the Turkish Cypriot community in the desert of Turkish propaganda and plans. We did not do everything possible to form bridges between the two communities.”
Meanwhile some Greek Cypriot media reports claimed that some opposition politicians said Mr Akinci should have cancelled the traditional July 20 celebrations and parades as a “gesture of goodwill and a sincerity test”.
Others criticised Mr Akinci and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for using “nationalist rhetoric” in their speeches, reports claimed.
By Kerem Hasan for Cyprus Today