Anastasiades – Akinci hold first meeting ahead of Geneva talks

Anastasiades – Akinci hold first meeting ahead of Geneva talks

The Cyprus Talks will resume at the United Nations in Geneva, at the Palais des Nations, from 9 to 11 January 2017 with the participation of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, the Greek Cypriot President, Nicos Anastasiades, and their delegations. The talks are being held under the auspices of the Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide.

Then, from 12 January 2017, a Conference on Cyprus will be convened with the added participation of the guarantor powers. Other relevant parties shall be invited to participate if needed.

Upon their arrival the Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, and theTurkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci will be welcomed by Michael Muller, Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, and Espen Barth Eide, Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General on Cyprus, at 08:45 a.m at the XIV Hall, Palais des Nations

The Geneva conference will be in five-party format, with the participation of the three guarantor powers, the Republic of Cyprus and Greek Cypriot community combined, plus the Turkish Cypriot side, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday.

Anastasiades was speaking after a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

The Cyprus President also said the UN would invite the EU and inform all 15 members of the UN Security Council they could attend if they wished but this did not mean any of their representatives would be part of the negotiations. Anastasiades stated that the two leaders agreed in preparing a list of issues to be discussed in Geneva and confirmed that on January 11 each side will table a map of proposed territorial adjustments prior to continuing with the conference on Cyprus on January 12.

He stressed that it was agreed that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will brief the Security Council members ahead of the Geneva conference, explicitly informing them that they may attend if they wish to. He clarified that the invitation will be extended not only to the five permanent security council members but all 15. Guterres will also invite the European Union to attend, the president said.

“I must note, however, that it does not follow that those invited will also be part of the negotiation of the Treaty of Guarantee itself, because that involves the Republic of Cyprus, the three guarantor powers, and the two communities,” Anastasiades said. “They will be there, and if the two leaders, or any leader, wishes their advice or input, they will be available.”

When asked what will happen if the maps are not within scope of the agreement, the president said “we expect to see and will decide accordingly. But what I am saying, is that it cannot be over or under 28.2% with respect to the Greek Cypriot community and cannot exceed 29,2% as regards the Turkish Cypriot community”.

Anastasiades said the conference on Cyprus will only touch on issues of security and added that “we can return to any outstanding issues, provided there is progress on security”. Asked to say at what level the guarantor powers will be represented in the summit, Anastasiades said “according to what’s been said thus far, it will be the Turkish President, the Greek Prime Minister, and I don’t know about the British side”. “And, of course, on the part of the Republic of Cyprus, its President,” he added.

On his part, Akinci stated that it was agreed that the leaders will next meet on Sunday night in Geneva. “There may be various remarks in the Greek Cypriot side, but what will happen is that the two sides will start the talks, and they will subsequently be joined by the three guarantors,” he said.

Asked to comment on Anastasiades’ claims that he will also be representing the Republic of Cyprus in Geneva, Akinci said he “can’t silence anyone”.

Anastasiades’ statements caused a political storm earlier and on entering the Dwelling of the Holy Archdiocese of Cyprus to inform the Holy Synod regarding the developments on the Cyprus problem Anastasiades was invited to comment on party reactions after his earlier statements concerning the participants at the Geneva talks on Cyprus.

The President stated that “whatever I said there would always be a reaction, but to clear this up once and for all: we are either going to get serious in this place or let us follow the course that some people want us to take”.

The Cyprus President more specifically stated “What I said was that there will be five participators, the state will be represented by the President of the Republic, as will the Greek Cypriot community. Thus we have the Republic of Cyprus, the three guarantor powers and the two communities which the guarantees concern. The two, i.e the state and the Greek Cypriot community, represented by the President of the Republic and leader of the Greek Cypriot community as has always been throughout the course of the Cyprus problem. For the last time let’s get serious”, he said.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot leader is scheduled to travel to Ankara on Thursday for talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Cyprus. On the same day, Turkish Foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is scheduled to meet with Guterres in New York, with Cyprus “high on the agenda”. On Friday, Guterres is scheduled to receive Greek foreign minister Nikos Kotzias.

UN special envoy for Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, will be present in New York for both meetings.

US outgoing President Barack Obama and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan have also held a  telephone conversation during which they discussed Cyprus and expressed hope that upcoming diplomatic engagements would result in an agreement to reunify the island, according to a White House statement./IBNA