President Mustafa Akıncı said that the proposal he had put forward previously to the leader of the Greek Cypriots administration Nicos Anastasiades regarding a joint committee being established to deal with the hydrocarbons issue has still not received the green light by the Greek Cypriot side.
President Mustafa Akıncı made the statement upon his return from his meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader at the buffer zone.
The two leaders on the island carried out their first informal meeting yesterday after a 5 month break.
Evaluating his meeting upon his return to the Presidential Palace, President Mustafa Akıncı said that they had held a meeting that lasted for over three hours and had discussed three major topics during the meeting, these being the terms of reference, hydrocarbon issues and confidence building measures.
He also said that he had emphasized that from now on the discussions to take place would not be open ended.
Akıncı said that they had also expressed their readiness to hold a tripartite meeting with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres after the United Nations General Assembly in order to plan the way forward.
“Even if the tripartite meeting to be realised will be unofficial, we will be planning a 5 party meeting and this matter was discussed openly with Anastasiades” said Akıncı.
Explaining that although they will be holding a meeting with the UN Secretary General in New York this will all depend on the work to be carried out by the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Cyprus Jane Holl Lute, President Akıncı said that both he and Mr. Anastasiades had showed that they are ready for such a meeting to take place.
Expressing hope that previous agreements, the 11th of February document and the 30th of June Guterres Document will become clarified, President Akıncı said “the meeting with the UN Secretary General will certainly be important because an effort will be made here to draw a roadmap for later. And as far as what we can foresee, it could lead to an informal or even a five-party meeting.”
On the issue of hydrocarbons the President said “we are either going to do everything together or separately. Even if the best way forward is to do it together we will not sit by idly if our proposal is rejected”.
Explaining that they Greek Cypriot side had rejected the establishment of a joint committee and only wanted a committee that would share information to be formed, President Akıncı said this proposal did not meet the Turkish Cypriot side’s expectations.
He also said that during the meeting he had informed Anastasiades about proposals regarding ways to overcome the problems with TRNC registered trade vehicles crossing over to the South, insurance policies to become island wide, the establishment of a joint sports committee, the EU ATOK committee to be revitalised and for efforts to be made so that buses crossing from Larnaca to the North of the island can be done so less problematically.
“We are waiting for all of these problems to be solved” said Akıncı and referred to the new law that was approved by the Greek Cypriot administration that led to the health insurance premiums of those working at the British bases and South of Cyprus being cut.
“We have discovered that now that the law has been approved the workers are unable to benefit from the health system in the South of the island. We have informed Anastasiades and are waiting for the problem to be solved” said Akıncı.
Noting that nothing has been solved but there is dialogue between the two sides’, President Akıncı said that in order for the problems to be solved the dialogue between the two sides is vital.
He reiterated once again that a common understanding did not exist between himself and Anastasiades on the issue of hydrocarbons or the closed city of Maraş.
“If one side continues to see itself as the sole authority on the island then the other side must protect the Mediterranean. The proposal we have put forward for a joint committee to be established has received much praise from the international community” said President Akıncı.
He concluded his speech by saying that if the Greek Cypriot side does not come to some kind of an agreement with the Turkish Cypriot side on the hydrocarbons issue then that means that everyone will take action separately and the Greek Cypriot side should not have any complaints on this issue as this is an outcome of their actions.