Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said on Friday, after a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, that they have a “common will for peace, stability, cooperation on the basis of everything discussed until today.”
He also said that both are seeking a solution of a bizonal, bicommunal federation provided this will result in a functional state.
Replying to questions on his return to the Presidential Palace after the meeting, President Anastasiades announced their decision to open the Dernyneia, on the east, and Lefka/Apliki, on the northwest, crossing points on November 12.
The President also said that at the meeting he outlined his views on the decentralisation of powers so that a functional solution can be reached.
He further noted that he may meet with Akinci again on November 12 if progress is achieved in matters that have to do with a confidence building measure on mobile telephony.
Akinci, he noted, told him that he was briefed that it would be possible to reach a solution on that particular matter on the basis of legislation in place in the Greek Cypriot side.
If this is the case, the President said, then yet another confidence building measure could be implemented, something which would probably provide another opportunity for the two leaders to meet.
President Anastasiades said the meeting was quite creative, in the sense that they exchanged views freely.
Asked whether there is a common understanding between the two leaders on the country’s future, he noted that “there is a common will for peace, stability, cooperation on the basis of everything which has been discussed until today.”
Invited to say if there has been a change of position on the part of the Turkish Cypriot side which will help the resumption of negotiations, President Anastasiades replied: “what we are both awaiting is for Lute’s (Jane Holl Lute) arrival and possible proposals she may bring so that she can facilitate the resumption of the dialogue.”
He noted that he had the opportunity to outline his views on the decentralisation of powers “so that we can reach a functional solution, which will be longstanding and will create a state fully compatible with everything the EU stands for but also completely functional.”
Replying to a question about Akinci’s reaction to the discussion on decentralization of powers, he said that “the discussion took place in a friendly climate and we reaffirmed the position that what we are seeking is a solution of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, as long as it results in a functional state.”
President Anastasiades said that he explained to Akinci what he has also told the National Council, the country’s top advisory body which includes all parliamentary party leaders, as regards the central government’s powers or the constituent states’ powers.
Through decentralisation of powers, he explained, trust on the one hand of Turkish Cypriots that Greek Cypriots, being the majority, will not abuse power can be restored and on the other hand the concerns of Greek Cypriots that exercising the right of the positive vote could lead to a dysfunctional state can be allayed.
He clarified that these are “concerns which, if not effectively addressed, would lead either one or the other community to reject any solution.”
The President refrained from elaborating on further details of his discussions with Akinci but pointed out that “what is important is our commitment to reaching a functional solution which will finally reunite our people and overall create prospects for the Cypriot people as a whole.”
Asked whether Akinci or Turkey would decide on the resumption of the talks, he said he did not wish to make any comment which “would not be useful, in relation to what we wish for and are seeking, at least as far as we are concerned.”
Asked from where the dialogue could begin, he replied that today’s meeting was creative.
Replying to a question on whether a Turkish army outpost near the Deryneia crossing point has been moved, he said “you will be witnesses to what will follow on November 12.”
Replying to another question, he said that neither he nor Akinci will be present when the crossing points open.
He did however noted that if progress is reached on a confidence building measure which has to do with mobile telephony, then the two of them may meet on the 12th (November), adding that this will depend on whether a solution is reached on the matter.
Several crossing points have been operating in the recent past to facilitate the movement of people to and from the northern Turkish occupied part of Cyprus to the southern government controlled part of the country./IBNA