TRNC News Today
President Akıncı received Lord Balfe
President Mustafa Akıncı received the UK Parliament’s TRNC Friendship Group member Lord Richard Andrew Balfe at the Presidential Palace.
No statement was made to the press after the meeting.
Anastasiades: “It was a constructive meeting despite the divergences”
Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades said that the last leaders’ meeting on Friday was very constructive despite the current divergences.
According to Greek Cypriot news sources, Anastasiades said that they discussed some issues deeply but that there is still some way to go. Although they have some differences, Anastasiades maintained that the two sides have the will to tackle the problems, and that the overall aims of both sides were discussed at the meeting.
The Greek Cypriot leader also said that they exchanged views on how both sides can approach the territory and guarantee issues…….
Özgürgün: “1st of August is the greatest symbol of the Turkish Cypriot people’s existence on the island”
Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün emphasized that the 1st of August Communal Resistance Day is one of the greatest symbols of the Turkish Cypriot people’s existence on the island. The occasion marks the 445th anniversary of the conquest of Cyprus by the Ottomans, the 58th anniversary of the Turkish Cypriot Resistance Organization (TMT), and the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Cyprus Turkish Security Forces Command in Cyprus.
In an address to commemorate the occasion, Prime Minister Özgürgün stated that the 1st of August Communal Resistance Day is celebrated with joy and pride that symbolizes the Turkish Cypriot people’s existence on the island.
Ercan Airport is competitor to Larnaca and Paphos Airports
According to the Greek Cypriot Fileleftheros newspaper, Ercan Airport has become a major competitor of Larnaca and Paphos Airports. According to reports, while strong passenger and flight numbers have been recorded in the last two years in Larnaca and Paphos Airports, a continuous increase has also been noted in passenger and flight levels at Ercan Airport despite all routes having to go through Turkish destinations.
Based on data provided by OAG, the passenger, airport and airline data collection specialist, 3.5–4 million passengers used Ercan Airport in 2015. Compared with 5.4 million passengers at Larnaca and 2.3 million at Paphos in the same period, the newspaper reported that this is a historic record.
Leaders hold the first discussion on territory, security and guarantees
The first round of the intensified negotiations was completed with the last leaders’ meeting on Friday. President Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot Leader Nikos Anastasiades discussed the “territory, security and guarantees” issues.
The second round of the negotiations will start after a short break, with the aim of reducing divergences. The leaders will recommence meetings on 23 August, before travelling to New York to take part in the UN General Assembly in September.
The two leaders discussed the issue of territory and set out their concerns on security, but names, maps and ratios were not discussed at Friday’s meeting.
Making a statement upon his return to the Presidential Palace, President Akıncı said that territory, security and guarantees are the thorniest issues of the Cyprus problem and it is not easy to overcome these difficulties in one meeting.
The next meetings will take place as 23rd, 29th and 31th of August and 2nd, 6th and 14th of September.
TRNC Flag waved in Mexico
Girne Municipality Folk Dance group is representing the TRNC in the World Folkloriada, which is organized every four years by the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts (CIOFF). CIOFF is an Official Partner of UNESCO, accredited to the UNESCO ICH Committee.
The “Olympiad” is taking place in Zacatecas, Mexico between 30 July- 14 August and will host folk dance groups from 55 different countries.
Kyrenia Municipality Folk Dance Group attended the opening and cortege of the Folklariada with the TRNC flag.
Brochures promoting Girne and the TRNC were also distributed in the Folklariada which was organized to introduce different cultures in the world and to provide cross-cultural exchanges.
Prime Minister Özgürgün: “Solution target for the end of 2016 should not be put away”
Responding to questions on NTV, Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün said that he did not see any will from the Greek Cypriots to reach a solution in Cyprus until end of 2016, but nevertheless expressed full support for President Akıncı in this context. Özgürgün said, “Putting away the target for a solution by the end of 2016 means that the ongoing negotiations will continue for another forty eight years.”
Although there are no issues off the table at the ongoing negotiations, Özgürgün raised questions about whether the Greek Cypriots have the will for a solution.
Furthermore Özgürgün raised the issue of the role of the Church, which as it stands does not accept any agreement. The Greek Cypriot political leader cannot sign an agreement that the Church does not accept. “Any political decision cannot be taken as long the Church is opposed. The Church must be overcome for any solution to occur” said Özgürgün.
Addressing allegations that the ELAM is supported by the Church and organized by factions inside the Greek Cypriot government with the help of certain members of the police and judiciary, Özgürgün draw parallels between ELAM and the EOKA-B.
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Pictures shown are courtesy of the TRNC Public Information Office Facebook page.