Burcu: No territory deal due to "uncompromising attitude"
Turkish Cypriot Spokesperson, Baris Burcu, following Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and T/C leader Mustafa Akinci’s failure to reach a deal on territorial adjustment, stated that this “was due to the uncompromising attitude of the Greek Cypriot and Greek side.”
Burcu affirmed: “The Turkish Cypriot side did not see good intention from the Greek side.”
Anastasiades and Akinci were aiming to reach an agreement on the territorial issue after travelling to Mont Pelerin twice (November 7-11 and November 20-21) to discuss the issue.
The issue of territory is one of the most intractable issues on the agenda.
Although both leaders were believed to be close to agreement on the amount of territory to be run by the Turkish Cypriot side, there were still disputes about what towns and villages should be included, according to Anadolu Agency.
Any agreement will mean redrawing existing boundaries and potentially removing thousands from their current homes, 42 years after many from both sides were displaced following Turkey’s 1974 invasion and illegal occupation on the island.
“BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT IN MY LIFE”
Burcu confirmed that Akinci’s offer for territorial adjustment was to have 29.2 per cent of the island.
"We proposed the logical territorial adjustments with the Greek Cypriot but our interlocutors could not foresee this proposal and could not act accordingly," added Burcu.
"We did show flexibility on many issues to Greek side but we could not get any positive feedback," continued Burcu.
"I have been working on the peace process for 42 years and this is the biggest disappointment in my life," he said.
During the Swiss talks, territorial changes were not discussed since “no common ground could be found to continue discussions on the issue,” an unnamed source told Anadolu Agency.
In a press conference after the failed talks, Cyprus Government Spokesperson Nikos Christodoulides stated that the Republic, “does not want to enter into a blame game,” after the leaders failed to come to an agreement.
Christodoulides noted that Anastasiades was “not happy” with the way the talks concluded.
Christodoulides rejected and denounced criticism aimed by Burcu on the Republic’s position, stating that “it does not in any case reflect to what happened on the negotiating table.”
Furthermore, the Spokesperson commented that the Turkish Cypriot side’s references to maximalist positions by the Republic “do not in any case respond to reality.”
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and illegally occupied its northern third.
Anastasiades and Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May 2015, with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.
If a final agreement is reached it will be put to both communities in a referendum. A 2004 peace deal, the ‘Annan Plan’, was approved by Turkish Cypriots but overwhelmingly rejected by Greek Cypriots.