Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mustafa Akinci said on Thursday that they are close to solving the decades-old conflict in Cyprus.
Speaking after a conference on the future of Cyprus at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, Akinci said “If we continue with this will and determination, it is possible to reach a solution within months.”
“We do not need years [to reach a solution] but there is a need to make some progress on [some] main issues,” Akinci added.
The Mediterranean island has been divided between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot governments since Turkey’s military intervention in 1974.
The Greek Cypriot government is recognized internationally and has been an EU member since 2004, while the Turkish Cypriot government is only recognized by Turkey.
A referendum based on a reunification plan was held in 2004 on both sides of the island. However, it was rejected by the Greek population of the island.
Leftist moderate leader Mustafa Akinci has been negotiating with his Greek counterpart Nicos Anastasiades since last May, just after he took his post as the president.
Akinci did not give a date when asked about a possible referendum. He stated that the issue depends on the content of the solution the sides will reach.
“Our bid is to make both sides say ‘yes’,” he added.
Akinci also gave details about the ongoing talks between the two parties.
Turkish Cypriot leader said they have been mainly negotiating about six topics and both sides are very close to reaching an agreement on three of them.
“One of them is administration and power-sharing, the second one is the economy and the third one is the EU,” Akinci said during his speech at the conference.
The remaining topics are property, territory and ‘security and guarantees’.
“I believe we can reach reconciliation on these three topics in a short time if we can reach assent points and see where we are going on other three topics,” Akinci said.
He also touched upon administrative issues and said “the rotating presidency issue, which is for us an indicator of political equality, is still open. We have not come to an agreement but I see this as a topic on which we can agree.”