Turkey is aiming for a solution to the long-standing Cyprus problem by the end of 2016 despite a failure of the reunification negotiations to reach an agreement earlier this week, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday.
Cavusoglu conferred with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on moves forward after Akinci and Cyprus’s President Nicos Anastasiades failed to strike an agreement on Tuesday on territorial adjustments in their negotiations in Switzerland.
“Turkey fully supports the process and will do so in the coming days…We want the negotiations to achieve the target of a solution in 2016,” said Cavusoglu during a visit to the occupied part of the eastern Mediterranean island.
He added that Turkey wanted a road map to be drawn which would include a five-party conference on security arrangements and guarantees.
Akinci said the negotiations at the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin failed because the Greek Cypriot side wanted an agreement on territorial adjustments and on the number of displaced Greek Cypriots who would return to their towns and villages before convening to discuss security arrangements.
The territorial adjustments refer to the size of territory occupied by Turkish troops in 1974 — in reaction to a coup by the military rulers of Greece at the time — which will be returned to Greek Cypriots after a solution.
Akinci said the negotiations had not collapsed, a view shared by Cypriot foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides in remarks in Strasbourg.
Anastasiades also said on Friday that he would not allow the hope for a reunification solution to be lost and vowed to work for a speedy resumption of the negotiations.
Decisions on how to proceed are expected after a round of separate meetings early next week of Espen Barth Eide, United Nations Secretary-General’s special adviser on Cyprus, with the two Cypriot leaders.
He is to meet Anastasiades and Akinci on Monday.
British foreign minister Boris Johnson has also announced that he will be in Cyprus on Tuesday to urge an immediate resumption of the negotiations.
Britain, the former colonial power of Cyprus, will have a direct involvement when the Cyprus negotiations reach their final stage, in its capacity as one of the guarantor powers along with Greece and Turkey.