Turkish Cypriote leader Mustafa Akinci attends a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on Jan. 13, 2017. The Turkish Cypriote leader said Friday that ongoing Cyprus negotiations must broker "mutually acceptable formulas" to ensure that both the Turkish and Greek Cypriote communities of the divided island feel secure. This is seen as a deal breaker if any viable agreement is to be reached by rival delegations engaged in UN-facilitated talks since Monday. (Xinhua/Xu Jinquan)
GENEVA, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Turkish Cypriote leader said Friday that ongoing Cyprus negotiations must broker "mutually acceptable formulas" to ensure that both the Turkish and Greek Cypriote communities of the divided island feel secure.
This is seen as a deal breaker if any viable agreement is to be reached by rival delegations engaged in UN-facilitated talks since Monday.
"The five party conference is all about security and guarantees," said Turkish Cypriote leader Mustafa Akinci on the second day of an international conference on Cyprus.
"The reality is that Turkish Cypriotes want to feel secure, but we are in agreement that the security of one community should not be pursued as a threat to the other community," he added.
The conference follows three days of negotiations between Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart at Geneva's UN headquarters.
Involving the foreign ministers of the three guarantor powers -- Turkey, Greece and Britain, it is seen as a historic opportunity to broker a deal which could end decades of division.
Though much headway has been made this week, a number of sticking points including security and guarantees remain.
Around 30,000 Turkish troops are currently stationed in northern parts of the small Mediterranean island, while a small contingent of Greek forces are present in southern areas.
Akinci reminded that for decades now Northern Cyprus' security has been guaranteed solely by Ankara.
"Let us give time to this conference because we have agreed that there will be a technical committee that will start work on the 18th of January," he said.
"We need time. We can't have everything on day one," he cautioned.
Earlier on Friday, the UN Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, said that though a number of issues remained to be resolved, talks have yielded much progress.
He also confirmed that technical discussions are to kick off next week, and that these could lead to final negotiations which would take place "soon... maybe even in the course of this month".
Cyprus has been divided in two since 1974 after Turkish troops occupied the northern part of the small Mediterranean island in reaction to a coup by the military rulers of Greece at the time.
While the southern Greek Cypriot side is recognized by the international community and is a member of the European Union, only Turkey officially recognizes the break-away northern region.