Nicosia, October 5, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
The dialogue and the efforts which are underway with a view to reach a mutually accepted solution to the Cyprus problem require seriousness, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has stressed, noting that there is still distance and time to cover in order to reach a solution.
President Anastasiades was invited to comment, on the sidelines of the annual charity event “International Bazaar 2015” organised by Christos Stelios Ioannou Foundation, information published by “Phileleftheros” newspaper with regard to a comment by the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide that an agreement on pending aspects of the Cyprus problem could be reached by the end of this year, and referenda could take place by March 2016.
President Anastasiades said that he hoped Eide’s predictions “will indeed help us with regard to similar time frameworks.”
He added that “seriousness is required in the dialogue and, in particular, we need to focus our attention to the efforts we are making so that there will be a solution that is acceptable by both communities. There is, therefore, distance and time for us to cover.”
Asked whether Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s reference about separate majorities is part of this “distance” that needs to be covered, Anastasiades said that “it doesn’t mean that (what Akinci says) is adopted.”
“Each one expresses his own positions. Efforts which are underway aim at finding a way to minimize the differences which today may seem big, as it happened in a number of issues in the past, where there was a gap in the views, but in the end convergences were recorded”, he concluded.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-backed talks between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Akinci began in May this year, with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.