Struggle to find a solution should not be abandoned

In his message for the New Year Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said that the struggle for a solution to the Cyprus problem, prosperity and peace should not be abandoned.

Even if the conditions and problems experienced now cause some sadness and pessimism, he said, “we must remain committed to our belief that there can be a better future.”

“The undying flame and passion we have as Cypriots and Mediterranean people continues to be our greatest hope for tomorrow. It is our common duty to achieve the best living conditions for our children and young people on this island,” Akinci said.

Referring to his and President Nicos Anastasiades’ meeting with the UN Secretary-General in Berlin in November, Akinci said it was an important development in clearing the confusion over the solution framework.

According to Akinci, the statement of the UN Secretary-General sets out a sound and clear procedure containing the principles which are important to Turkish Cypriots.

“With good planning and preparation, and if all stakeholders act with a constructive and consistent attitude, serious developments are possible within 2020,” he said.

Akinci said that the call for a process different than the past, not an open-ended one and aimed at a strategic agreement and focused on the outcome, found a response thanks to his firm and determined attitude.

The Turkish Cypriot leader also assessed as positive the steps taken in 2019 as regards confidence-building measures which led, among other things, to the interoperability of mobile phones throughout the island, the permanent electricity connection and the demining of 18 areas, nine on each side.

On the issue of hydrocarbons, Akinci said the unilateral actions of the Greek Cypriot side led to the rise in tensions, and that trying to derive unilateral benefits from hydrocarbons in the eastern Mediterranean is not beneficial.

He also said that there is already enough military equipment on both sides.