AKEL on the Geneva talks

Statements by the General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL, Andros Kyprianou on recent developments on the Cyprus problem

ICP, 18th January 2017

The Conference on Cyprus convened on 12th January, in Geneva, under the auspices of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, with the participation of Mustafa Akıncı and  Nicos Anastasiades, the Foreign Ministers of Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom as guarantor powers and in the presence of the European Union as an observer. The Progressive Party of the working People (AKEL), also participated the Conference as the company of Anastasiades.

AKEL CC Press Office released the statements of the General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL, Andros Kyprianou on the Geneva talks.  

Kyprianu introduces his statements as follows:

"When we received the invitation from the President of the Republic to accompany him to Geneva, we knew that this was a difficult, critical and decisive meeting on the Cyprus problem. We knew that the gap that existed in the positions of the two sides would cause additional difficulties. We decided to go to Geneva with the aim of operating positively and constructively so as to contribute to the difficult effort of Mr. Anastasiades. This is what our patriotic duty demands. We acted with a sense of responsibility towards our homeland and people within this precise context from the first up to the final day.
As expected the negotiations were difficult, arduous and strenuous. Our own role was through expressing our thoughts and proposals to assist the President in the formulation of the Greek Cypriot side’s positions. We did so insisting on positions of principle, on positions that could contribute towards overcoming problems, both with regards the substance and the procedure of the negotiations. At the same time we tried, through our contacts with Turkish Cypriot political parties, to contribute so that there would be an understanding of our positions on the part of the Turkish Cypriot community’s leadership.
Despite the difficulties, with the negotiation it became possible for the procedure to advance"

For the full statement see the link.

The Press Office of AKEL also released the replies of the General Secretary to journalist’s questions at the press conference. The questions and Kyprianou's replies regarding the Geneva talks on the Cyprus issue is as follows:

What is your comment on Erdoğan’s statements?

AK: First of all let me say that it is very important that statements should be transmitted in their original wording. I saw the first press reports that were conveying a completely different content than the one Erdoğan’s statements had.

We aren’t satisfied with Mr. Erdogan’s statements. But I must say that compared to other statements he has made, they are much more advanced in the sense that for the first time, he leaves open the possibility of the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Cyprus, which I consider is extremely important. The other issues he referred to, and I refer mainly to the issues of governance are issues that are on the negotiating table. I therefore consider that everything will be judged at the negotiating table. This is why we as AKEL strongly believe that at this critical juncture the statements made should be limited to the greatest possible extent, both by us, as well as by the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey and by others as well who are playing an important role in the discussions.

Based on what you have learnt in Geneva, is there a real possibility of this procedure succeeding?

AK: If we did not believe there is a possibility of this procedure succeeding we wouldn’t have entered into it. My view is that, no matter how small the room is we need to explore the possibility. We need to be at ease with our conscience and responsibility towards the future generations of this country that we have made every effort to solve the Cyprus problem, if there are possibilities. I believe that there is such a scope. Of course a great deal of difficulties exist. We don’t underestimate them, and it is important that we take this difficult path. And we will know what the outcome will be at the end. No one can predetermine what the result will be.

What do you have to say about Erdogan’s references about Kokkina and Morphou (Note: Kokkina is an enclave and Morphou a town, both in the occupied areas)?

AK: I will not negotiate publicly with Mr. Erdoğan. I have stated that some of his references do not satisfy us at all. We consider them unrealistic. But I repeat and insist that what is said in public is one thing and where the issues will be judged something else. They will be judged at the negotiating table. As far as the territorial issue is concerned two maps have been submitted. One by the Greek Cypriot community and one by the Turkish Cypriot community. This is the basis. The Turkish Cypriot proposal according to the general information that we have doesn’t satisfy us. We will need to make efforts to bring things to a point that will be satisfactory for us and for the Turkish Cypriot community as well.

Is the map submitted by the Turkish Cypriot community consistent with Mr. Erdoğan’s statements?

AK: I won’t follow this logic. I reiterate that these issues must be discussed at the negotiating table and not in public.