Cyprus President and new Turkish Cypriot leader resume peace talks

Cyprus President and new Turkish Cypriot leader resume peace talks

Nicosia, April 28, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Kyriacos Kyriacou

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will be meeting the new Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on Saturday at noon, following a telephone conversation the two had on Tuesday morning. The venue is yet to be announced.

Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides told the press today that the telephone conversation took place at the initiative of President Anastasiades and explained this will be a social meeting, however the Cyprus problem and the resumption of the peace talks will be on the agenda.

Replying to a question on the issue of the Turkish occupied city of Famagusta, the Spokesman said that the only proposal on the table, for which the international community is already aware of, is the proposal submitted by President Anastasiades which refers to the fenced off area of Famagusta (Varosha).

Invited to comment on statements by Akinci n the issue, the Spokesman said the Greek Cypriot side is aware of his public statements only. “When we are specifically briefed, then we will be able to comment,” he added.

Replying to another question on the illegal airport in occupied Tymbou, the Spokesman said that when Confidence Building Measures were discussed between President Anastasiades and former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, no such thing was included in the document submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side.

He noted that the issue of the operation of the illegal airport is often included in public statements and that the Greek Cypriot side has no official information to this end.

Christodoulides also said that President Anastasiades will be presiding over a meeting of the National Council soon.

To another question about an exchange of words in public between Akinci and Turkish President Tayip Erdogan, the Spokesman said that Cyprus government monitors closely developments related to this incident.

“We watch an attempt by Akinci to break free from Turkey`s dependence. We are sure that the UN and the foreign governments who are interested in the Cyprus problem closely follow these developments. We will also keep following developments and will comment accordingly“, the Spokesman said.

Akinci was elected new leader of the Turkish Cypriot community during a run-off election last Sunday.

Referring to UNSG Special Envoy`s visit to Cyprus, Christodoulides said that Espen Barth Eide will be arriving on the island next Monday.

Commenting on a statement attributed to UNSG Spokesman on “two governments“ on the island, Christodoulides said that Cyprus has made representations to the UN, pointing out however that “we should not doubt the obvious, that Cyprus Republic is the only recognised government on the island.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. A new round of UN-backed talks to reunite the island under a federal roof is set to commence in the next weeks.