Nicosia, January 13, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Kyriacos Kyriacou
President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday that the meeting which took place in Nicosia between himself, the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in the framework of the lunch hosted by the Greek-Turkish Forum, in Nicosia, was `a tremendously constructive one`.
The Greek – Turkish Forum, comprising Greek, Turkish, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot businesspeople, academics and former diplomats, hosted today in Nicosia a lunch during which they heard the views of the two leaders as regards the Cyprus issue.
In his remarks to reporters, after the lunch, the President of the Republic said that “it was a tremendously constructive meeting with the encouragement of the Greek-Turkish Forum, which of course includes Cypriots after 2006”.
He said that the two leaders briefed the members of the Forum on progress of the Cyprus talks and that they exchanged thoughts on how problems can be overcome.
They also exchanged views on Cyprus` future prospects.
The President said that a solution of the Cyprus issue could bring along many benefits, a prosperous future for all Cypriots but also, at the same time, could improve the relations between Greece and Turkey, Turkey and the EU.
Replying to a question as to what he heard from the Turkish side at the lunch given that former Minister of Foreign Affairs of
Turkey Yasar Yakis was also present, the President said “the same things that I have heard from the rest.”
In his remarks after the lunch, the Turkish Cypriot leader thanked the Greek-Turkish Forum, noting that they are all pro solution people, who want to see better relations not only between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots but also between the Greek people and Turkish people.
`We exchanged views, we listened to them, they asked questions, we answered, and we share the same vision not only for the future of Cyprus but also the same vision for our region and for the relations between Greece and Turkey. It was a very useful get together`, he added.
Asked about his participation in the Davos Economic Forum next week, he said that he will have the opportunity to meet there with President Anastasiades and that they will be sharing the same platform to express their views regarding the future of Cyprus.
Replying to questions, he said that nothing spectacular will come out of Davos, noting that there was no invitation for a five-party meeting for now and that `we don’t expect that and I don’t personally believe that it is going to be an issue`.
Asked if there is an indication from the UN SG for a meeting with President Anastasiades and if there is going to be a problem, he said `no problem at all. If you mean business and if you want to solve our problem the only way to do so is to get together. So whether we are in Davos, or New York or in Nicosia it doesn’t make any difference`.
Meanwhile, a press release by the Greek Turkish Forum says that `on the occasion of its meeting in Cyprus at the Home for Co-operation in the UN Buffer Zone on the 13th and 14th of January 2016, the Greek Turkish Forum had the pleasant opportunity of meeting with the leaders of the two communities.
`We welcome their commitment and their engagement with citizens and stakeholders in building confidence in a common future and a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem. The Greek Turkish Forum is grateful to the leaders for updating forum members on the encouraging atmosphere in the talks under UN auspices`.
It adds that “we want to commend the leaders as well for establishing an exemplary paradigm of communication and outreach based on mutual trust, as reflected in their public statements and actions`.
`While a settlement is by no means a foregone conclusion at this stage, the positive climate engendered through the talks present a unique opportunity to achieve progress and successfully conclude the negotiations. The Greek Turkish Forum is fully committed to supporting the leaders in their quest for a settlement agreeable to both Greek and Turkish Cypriots, and will spare no effort to promote the peace process` it points out.
The Forum notes that the upcoming months will be crucial for Cyprus and the outcome of the peace process.
`Thus, we urge the two leaders to do their utmost to overcome existing difficulties in the negotiations to the long-lasting benefit of all Cypriots` it concludes.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN-led talks, aiming to reunite the island under a federal roof, resumed last May.