Leaders meet to continue peace talks

Leaders meet to continue peace talks


By Kyriacos Kyriacou – Nicosia

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, have agreed to continue the screening process and to conclude it as soon as possible, with a view to entering into the next stage of the peace talks aiming the unification of the divided Cyprus, Acting Special Adviser to UNSG on Cyprus Lisa Buttenheim has said.

She was reading a joint statement, in the presence of the two leaders after they met on Monday at the UN protected area of the Nicosia airport. The leaders, she said, met “in a friendly atmosphere and reviewed the progress of the discussions undertaken thus far between the negotiators”.

“They agreed to continue the screening process and to conclude this phase as soon as possible with a view to entering into the next stage of the structured negotiations”, she added. The leaders, Buttenheim concluded, “agreed to meet again in a month’s time or earlier if necessary”.

UN-backed peace talks resumed in February this year, following an agreed Joint Declaration between President Anastasiades and Dervis Eroglu.

“More dialogue necessary”

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said on Monday that more discussion on all aspects of the Cyprus problem is necessary. In statements on arrival at the Presidential Palace, following his meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervish Eroglu, President Anastasiades said that the two sides took stock of the “progress or non-progress” made so far, based on the respective positions of the two sides.

“It seems that there is a need for further dialogue concerning all aspects of the Cyprus problem” President Anastasiades said.

“Inconsistency of proposals”

He noted that the Greek Cypriot side has pointed out the “inconsistency of proposals” from the Turkish Cypriot side, in relation to the joint declaration Anastasiades and Eroglu agreed on in mid February, outlining the basic principles of a solution. President Anastasiades also said that the Turkish Cypriot side expressed during the meeting its views, reflecting its concerns.

“It has been agreed that this discussion, on the initial positions of both sides, must be completed the soonest possible, with a more detailed discussion to take place at a second stage to follow”, the President concluded.