According to AFP, Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said that “I believe 2016 could be the year that we end the unacceptable status quo” while Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı said he and his Greek Cypriot counterpart would “continue our hard work to put an end to the … problem and pave the way for new economic opportunities.”
This was the first time a president of Northern Cyprus has been invited to, and addressed, the international summit attended by leaders, top businesspeople and politicians from around the world.
Both leaders made a request for funding to strengthen the peace talks. Anastasiades stated that; “We hope we have the support of the international community at large, particularly with regard to substantially contributing to the financial aspects of the solution. Living in the middle of a region in turmoil, we are committed to continue working with resolve to heal an open wound at the heart of Europe”.
Earlier, the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed his belief that a settlement for Cyprus “is within reach.”
According to the Greek media, just days before the Davos meeting, the Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades has given instructions to the Foreign Ministry to start the formal procedure that the Republic of Cyprus submit a request to the European Union to make Turkish one of the two official languages of the State and the 25th official language of the European Union
President Anastasiades believes that the recognition of Turkish as an EU official language will contribute positively to the negotiations process and finalize a deal.
Cyprus was divided in 1974, when Turkish troops occupied its northern part in response to the Greek colonels-inspired coup seeking union with Greece. The last referendum was held in 2004 and saw the majority of Turkish Cypriots backing reunification, but more than three quarters of Greek Cypriots rejected the idea. The Greek Cypriots joined the European Union in 2004.