No peace talks until mandate is renewed, says Turkish-Cypriot leader

No peace talks until mandate is renewed, says Turkish-Cypriot leader

Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci says that no progress can be made in reunification talks with the Republic of Cyprus if Turkish Cypriots in the breakaway north do not renew his mandate.

“What kind of progress can we expect when the entire world is battling with the pandemic, with human loss and concerns about survival,” Akinci was quoted by the Cyprus News Agency, in translated comments, as telling the newspaper Kibris in an interview on Tuesday.

The coronavirus crisis “is a further illustration of how necessary a solution is for the two communities,” Akinci said, adding, however, that he is not prepared to take any steps on the issue of reunifications talks unless he is reelected in polls that were pushed from April to October as a result of the pandemic.

Akinci said that if he is reelected, he will do “everything in his power” to restart peace talks, warning that “the more time that goes by, the deeper division and divisiveness take root.”

On the subject of the roadblocks separating the two parts of the island, Akinci said that it has been agreed with Cyprus President Nikos Anastasiadis to allow passage as of June 8 to Turkish Cypriots who work, study or are undergoing health treatment in the Republic of Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided since a 1974 Turkish army invasion.

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