Daily Journal masthead

Cyprus' president says peace talks to reunify the ethnically split country have produced significant progress on how power will be shared with breakaway Turkish Cypriots as well as how the economy will function under a federation

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Peace talks aimed at reunifying ethnically split Cyprus have made significant progress on how power will be shared with breakaway Turkish Cypriots and how the economy will function under a federation, the country's president said Thursday.

Briefing lawmakers at a special parliamentary session, Nicos Anastasiades said he and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have also agreed after nine months of negotiations on the legal ways to deal with property lost during Turkey's 1974 invasion that followed a coup aiming at union with Greece.

He said a population ratio of four Greek Cypriots to one Turkish Cypriot will remain constant and will be reflected in the makeup of the lower house of Parliament. A 40-member upper chamber, or senate, will be composed of an equal number of Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Anastasiades said a property committee will decide whether owners can either fully or partially reclaim their property, be given property elsewhere, exchange the property, receive monetary compensation or a combination of those events. Courts will adjudicate cases were owners aren't satisfied.

Citizens will have the right to work, live and own property in either constituent state, Anastasiades said, while courts will have an equal number of Greek and Turkish Cypriot judges.

The euro will be the country's official currency from day one of reunification and the country will have one central bank.

PHOTO: Cyprus' president Nicos Anastasiades speaks to the lawmakers at the Cyprus parliament in divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. Anastasiades says peace talks aimed at reunifying the ethnically divided country have marked significant progress on how power will be shared with breakaway Turkish Cypriots and how the economy will function under an envisioned federation. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Cyprus' president Nicos Anastasiades speaks to the lawmakers at the Cyprus parliament in divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. Anastasiades says peace talks aimed at reunifying the ethnically divided country have marked significant progress on how power will be shared with breakaway Turkish Cypriots and how the economy will function under an envisioned federation. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

The Cypriot president said differences remain — including a Turkish Cypriot insistence on a rotating presidency. Another key issue that's unclear is how much territory will fall under Greek or Turkish jurisdiction.

Greek Cypriots also staunchly reject military intervention rights accorded to Turkey under Cyprus' existing constitution. Anastasiades said no European Union member state can be subject to any such rights ceded to another country.

The Cypriot president also signaled to Turkey that without its support for a deal, it won't fulfill its ambitions to become a regional energy hub and join the European Union, which Cyprus joined in 2004. A deal would also improve EU-NATO relations, he added.

Anastasiades said more time was needed to produce an accord "that won't be subject to misinterpretation." A clear-cut deal is seen as essential to gain support from both Greek and Turkish Cypriots who, if an agreement is reached, will vote on it in separate referendums.

"The aimed-for solution must be a product of an honorable compromise that will create conditions of mutual respect and won't permit the imposition of the minority over the majority and naturally vice versa," said Anastasiades.

Anastasiades spent a sizeable portion of his speech rebuffing critics who either oppose or have expressed serious misgivings with the federal model under negotiation, which they fear could legitimate the island's ethnic divisions and strip Greek Cypriots of rights.

Turkish Cypriots declared an independent state in the island's northern third in 1983. The state is recognized only by Turkey, which maintains more than 40,000 troops there.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Follow Daily Journal:

All content copyright ©2016 Daily Journal, a publication of AIM Media Indiana unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.