Peace talks to resume in Cyprus

Peace talks to resume in Cyprus

Nicosia, May 6, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Kyriacou Kyriacou

Both leaders in Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and newly-elected Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci voiced readiness to resume the UN-backed negotiations aiming in re-unifying the island, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide called on Tuesday the two leader to seize the opportunity. He highlighted the fact that a united Cyprus should be compatible with EU standards, noting that this would be to the benefit of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Eide who speaking after having been received by President Nicos Anastasiades also spoke of a Cypriot owned process and said he is encouraged by the climate created by the leaders of the island’s two communities. He met on Monday with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

“These are two leaders who tell me that they are seriously dedicated and committed to solving the Cyprus problem, that they are ready to resume negotiations without delay, and they both in almost exactly the same words that this is the moment, it’s a unique opportunity and there is not time to waste”, he said.

So, he added, “I am very encouraged by the climate that has been created over the past weeks and months here and I think this is an opportunity that Cypriots must take.”

Ban, Putin and Biden

Nicos Anastasiades is expected over the next days to speak on the phone with US Vice President Joe Biden and meet in person with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Russian President Vladimir Putin, to discuss the latest developments in the Cyprus issue, ahead of the resumption of inter-communal talks.

Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides announced on Tuesday the President`s contacts, immediately after the meeting between President Anastasiades and UN SG` Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, held at the Presidential Palace, in Nicosia.

“They had a very good meeting” Christodoulides said, noting that the two men exchanged views over the next steps.

The President reiterated his commitment to a substantial and frank dialogue, that will build on a positive outlook for the termination of Cyprus` Turkish occupation and the reunification of the country, the Government Spokesman added.

He said they also discussed Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) to work in parallel with and reinforce the negotiations` process.

Christodoulides announced that the President of the Republic will meet with Ban on May 9, in Moscow, on the sidelines of the Victory Day Parade. On the meeting with President Putin, Christodoulides said that it takes place at the request of President Anastasiades.

He said that no date has been set yet for the resumption of Cyprus talks, pointing to a possible  announcement on Monday, after the dinner between the President and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community. The goal of both sides is to resume the peace talks within May, he added.

On the imminent meeting between Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Turkey`s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Christodoulides commented that “we follow the developments and the ongoing public discourse and we will wait to see the results of this meeting”.