By Kyriacos Kyriacou-Nicosia
Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders Nicos Anastasiades and Dervis Eroglu are scheduled to meet on Monday March 31 to continue peace talks for the unification of the island, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
According to information, Alexander Downer, former UN envoy on Cyprus, who was replaced in his position by Lisa Battenheim, is expected to visit the island at the end of March, to say goodbye to the leaders of the island’s two communities and his associates here.
Downer’s proposed trip is likely to coincide with the meeting, the second in a row, between the two leaders, Nicos Anastasiades and Dervis Eroglu. The UN envoy may, if he is still on the island, attend the meeting.
The same sources say that no agenda has yet been drafted for the March meeting.
During a meeting on Tuesday between the two negotiators, Greek Cypriot Andreas Mavroyiannis and Turkish Cypriot Kudret Ozesay they evaluated different issues conserving the Cyprus problem, but due to lack of sufficient time, their discussion was not completed.
It is expected they will continue their talks at their next meeting on Friday.
Deputy Special Advisor of the UN Secretary General Lisa Buttenheim, who returns to Cyprus tomorrow after a brief absence, is expected to attend Friday’s meeting.
Direct talks between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities resumed in mid February, following an agreement on a Joint Declaration by the two leaders. The objective is to reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, under a federal roof.
Italian MEP tables motion for a resolution
Meantime, Italian MEP Sergio Paolo Francesco has tabled a motion for a resolution, requesting the European Commission to actively participate in the dialogue between the two sides in Cyprus, to facilitate the progress of the negotiations and to make the establishment of a new federation on the island dependent on the result of a referendum.
The motion notes inter alia that the ongoing situation in Cyprus creates numerous political problems in the relations between the EU and Turkey, between Cyprus and NATO and between the EU and NATO.
Furthermore it says that on February 11, 2014, negotiations for the reunification of the island to a new “united Cyprus federation” resulted in a text describing the establishment of a new federation of two communities with political equality and a federal constitution that will be approved by the federal supreme court, and in the framework of which the population will enjoy full citizenship throughout the island.