World, Europe

Greek Cyprus urged to take 'realistic steps' for deal

Turkish Cypriot leader: Greek Cypriots must be more careful with rhetoric and take a more helpful attitude in negotiations

09.02.2017
Greek Cyprus urged to take 'realistic steps' for deal File photo

LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Greek Cyprus needs to take more realistic and reasonable steps during negotiations to reach a settlement on the divided Mediterranean island, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Mustafa Akinci said Thursday.

The Turkish Cypriot side has “made very important contributions in the process to find a solution," Akinci told reporters following his meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades, hosted by the UN in Lefkosa.

The Greek Cypriots “also must be more careful about their rhetoric and should take a more helpful attitude at the negotiating table," he added.

Negotiations over Cyprus restarted in May 2015 under the auspices of the UN Cyprus Envoy Espen Barth Eide.

According to Akinci, currently the sides are negotiating over opening the Lefke and Derinya border crossings -- two new border gates between northern and southern Cyprus.

Akinci said there are eight to 10 issues between the two sides which still need agreement. Thursday's talks included topics such as the equal treatment of Turkish and Greek citizens, he added.

He also stressed there can be no agreement or referendum without a rotating presidency between the two sides.

Separately, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will pay a two-day visit to the Turkish capital Ankara starting Friday, according to a Prime Ministry source, who spoke on condition anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media. This will be Guterres' first visit to Turkey as head of the UN.

He is expected to meet with officials and discuss Turkish-UN relations, human rights, and regional issues as well as developments on Cyprus and in the Middle East.

The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.

Cyprus’ three guarantors -- Turkey, Greece, and Great Britain -- were assigned when it gained independence from the U.K. in 1960.

Reporting by Murat Demirci and Mumin Altas; Writing by Esra Kaymak

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.