Speaking at “Cyprus economy after a solution” event organized by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and Greek Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Chateau Status in the buffer zone, President Mustafa Akıncı said that his vision involves prosperity of all Cypriots regardless of their ethnicity or background. Akıncı stated that without empathy it would not be possible to create a functional political model and bring the two sides closer together. “The people sitting opposite us at the negotiating table are not our enemies; they are our partners with whom we shall build a common future together”, he added. Akıncı also said that he and Anastasiades had pledged to create concrete results and end this problem and added that they had made a good start and progressed positively. In his address, President Akıncı said that the new talks on the Cyprus Problem had got off to a good start but it was the end result that would matter most. He said that Cypriot people were at the core of the conflict and had to be able to communicate their fears and concerns to each other. This, he said, could be done with the help of the UN and the international community. He also noted that we will need to design an energy strategy at the federal level in order to provide clean, sustainable and cheap energy both to the consumers and the businesses. Solution of the Cyprus problem will help to better plan and implement the most viable method to extract and sell hydrocarbon resources for the benefit of all Cypriots. “Natural Resources belong to all Cypriot people, it should lead to cooperation rather than conflict” he said.
In his speech, Greek Cypriot Administration leader Anastasiades said that “it is clear that the unacceptable status quo does not negatively affect only one of the two communities, but both communities and the Cypriot people. Therefore, my vision, which coincides with the vision shared by my friend, Mustafa Akinci, is to reach a settlement that will end the anachronism related with the current situation and provide hope and the prospect of a better future for all Cypriots, and in particular the younger generations”.
“A vision that can only be accomplished through reaching a final, lasting, viable and fair settlement, with no winners and losers, on the basis of what has been so far agreed, namely: A bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, with a single international legal personality, a single sovereignty and a single citizenship”, he added.
A settlement, he continued, “that will restore the sense of righteousness and trust between the two communities, alleviate any fears attributed to our burdened past, create the necessary conditions and the prospect, through mutual respect, for Greek and Turkish Cypriots to jointly cooperate, collaborate and co-create and safeguard the fundamental EU values and principles, as well as the universal human rights for each and every citizen”.
And, most importantly, he noted, “a settlement that will finally allow Cypriots to be able to freely decide by themselves the future and the fate of their own country”.
As he said, “reaching such a settlement will safeguard the full utilization of our great potential and prospect for economic growth, development and prosperity for all Cypriots, since the combination of political and economic security and stability, our capacity as an EU member-state and also the significant natural gas reserves in the Levantine basis, will further highlight the competitive advantages provided by our geographic position and the geostrategic role “According to a number of studies conducted both by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and others, he added, “it has been estimated that with a settlement there is a potential that the all-island GDP could double in 20-years’ time”.
President of the Greek Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Phidias Pilides said that “Our Chambers are convinced that the present situation cannot continue any longer because if it does the ultimate losers will be the Cypriots themselves, as they will be deprived of the economic benefits that a fair and viable solution of the Cyprus problem will bring with it”.
“A number of independent studies and surveys have shown that the economic benefits that will accrue from a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem will be significant. If one considers the effects of the economic crisis on both Communities in Cyprus and the difficult economic situation the island is presently going through, a just, functional and viable solution gains additional importance” he said.
In conclusion, he reiterated that “our two Chambers are convinced that a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem will bring considerable benefits not only to the economy of Cyprus, but also to the entire region. Unified Cyprus, will prosper within an enlarged European Union where democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms will be respected”.
Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Fikri Toros said that “the two Chambers have been trying to increase the role of business communities in the settlement. We strongly believe that it is imperative to complement the political negotiations with actions aiming to improve the business climate in the whole island”.
“By promoting economic cooperation we aim to erode the status-quo, normalize everyday life conditions and relief Cypriot communities of their long standing fear, mistrust and deprivations.
It is by easing the social, economic and cultural activities between the two communities and by enabling them seeing the benefits of partnership in a reunited Cyprus that we will be able to overcome their fears, mistrust and thus enhance faith in the peace process”, he added.
Head of the European Commission Representation in Cyprus Georgios Markopouliotis said: “The European Commission is present and supports with actions the rapprochement of the two communities. Tonight`s event takes place within the framework of the “Leading by Example” project which is co-funded by the EU. The “Leading by Example” project confirms our pledge to promote trust between the two communities; it is a fine example of our vow to play our part in order to end divisions” he added.
“A comprehensive and lasting solution will mean a unified Cyprus; it will restore hope in a common future for all Cypriots after decades of friction. There are many issues to reflect on regarding the post-settlement situation. The economy is certainly among the most interesting ones. I am looking forward to hearing the two leaders` views and visions on the post-settlement economy of Cyprus.” he concluded.