Talking to reporters after a meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades in the UN-administered buffer zone, hosted by Espen Barth Eide, the special UN Cyprus envoy, Akinci said that both he and Anastasiades were committed to the negotiation process despite some problems and differences.

"We are trying to establish the structure of a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation that considers the benefits of both sides. Despite problems and differences waiting to be solved, we are making progress,” Akinci said, adding that together, both sides could create an outcome that would be a win-win for all sides.

“I hope we can make 2016 the year of solution,” he said.

Anastasiades said Friday’s meeting focused on the issues of property and co-governance, and was held in a good climate, with advanced talks scheduled for May 27.

The goal is to come together towards a common point, which will bring about a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem, he said.

Asked about the visa-liberalization process between Turkey and the EU, the Greek Cypriot leader said that they would be taking necessary measures in cooperation with their partners, in order to secure the rights of the Greek Cypriot side.

Reunification talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island resumed in May 2015 when the newly-elected Akinci met with Greek Cyprus’ Anastasiades.

Previous negotiations had stalled in October 2014 due to a row over gas exploration.

The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup on the island was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.

Anadolu Agency