Following the conclusion of the intense discussions and constructive steps taken to finalize the Joint Declaration on 11 February 2014, the Cyprus negotiation process resumed. With the Joint Declaration, the two Leaders reaffirmed their aim for the establishment of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on political equality and that this federation will have a single sovereignty which emanates equally from the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. The federation would be composed of two constituent states of equal status and neither side will claim authority or jurisdiction over the other.
The latest political developments in Cyprus are promising. A new window of opportunity emerged following the decision of the Greek Cypriot side to return to the negotiation table soon after the election of His Excellency Mr. Mustafa Akıncı as the new President of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on 25 April 2015.
TRNC President Akıncı and leader of Greek Cypriot administration Anastasiades resumed the full-fledged negotiations on 15 May 2015, with the presence of the UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide. Following the first meeting, they expressed their strong commitment, to move forward in a constructive and dedicated manner towards reaching a comprehensive settlement as soon as possible.
Parallel to the talks on the substantive issues of the Cyprus problem, they also agreed to work on confidence building measures to benefit the daily lives of the two communities. The two leaders started to meet twice a month, while their negotiation teams meet two-three times a week. In this process named as the screening process, the existing positions of two sides were put forward by working on all aspects of the Cyprus issue and tried to find out how to make progress in the process.
The first outcome of the new process was the agreement to pursue five confidence building measures which are; the opening of more check points between the two sides; interconnecting electricity grids; mobile telephone interoperability, prevention of radio frequency interferences and establishing a committee on gender equality.
The two sides, expeditiously completing the screening process, moved to the substantive negotiations. During the course of the intensified negotiation process all core issues of the Cyprus question have been discussed by the two sides. The parties have, so far, managed to achieve significant progress on the issues of Governance and Power Sharing; Economic Matters and European Union Matters. Convergences on legislative, executive and judicial affairs are in line with the parameters of political equality of the two peoples, as well as the equal status of the two Constituent States.
The two sides in Cyprus have left behind a very intense period of nine months in the negotiations. During the course of current process, the parties have managed to achieve significant progress on the core issues of Governance and Power Sharing, Economy and European Union matters, as well as, Property which is one of the most challenging chapters of the Cyprus issue.
There remains an understanding between the two sides that the remaining two issues of Territory, as well as, Security and Guarantees will be discussed and finalised in the last process of the negotiations. Particularly, the Security and Guarantees issue will be taken up at a quintette meeting with the participation of guarantor powers, namely Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom.
The Turkish Cypriot side is determined to finalise the four chapters by early summer, discuss the Territory, Security and Guarantees chapters following the Greek Cypriot elections in May and hold simultaneous referenda in 2016.
On January 2016, Special Advisor of the UNSG Mr. Espen Barth Eide has recently briefed the UN Security Council members in New York on UNSG Good Offices Mission, UNFICYP operations and the course of the process, which he described as a historic opportunity to achieve a settlement to the Cyprus problem. Mr. Eide emphasized the progress made in the negotiations and the vision and courage of the leaders, adding that while much has been achieved there is also a long way to go.
On 21st January 2016, both leaders met with the UNSG Mr. Ban Ki-moon at Davos, where they participated at the annual World Economic Forum and had a comprehensive discussion on the state of play in Cyprus. The Secretary-General in his statement, commended the leaders for showing the political will and called on all interested parties to do their utmost to facilitate and support the leaders in their quest for the settlement of the Cyprus problem.