Nicosia, August 23, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
President Nicos Anastasiades and T/c leader Mustafa Akinci embarked on Tuesday on a new round of intensified talks under the UN-aegis, following a short break for the summer holidays. The two leaders set the agenda of the remaining six meetings they will have until September 14 (29/8, 31/8, 2,6,8,14/9).
The President, in statements to the press after today`s meeting which lasted almost three hours, said that the Greek Cypriot side does not reject the idea of a tripartite meeting in New York city, after the UN General Assembly, between himself, the T/c leader and the UNSG Ban Ki Moon, given there is sufficient progress in the peace negotiations.
In his statements the President described today`s meeting as quite productive for the methodology that will be followed in the remaining meetings as well as informative on issues that were developed in the recent days.
He said that he was informed in general about the recent meeting between Akinci and Turkish President Tayip Erdogan, but not in detail, adding that from what he understands, the Turkish President reiterated his will to contribute for a Cyprus solution.
Replying to a question, President Anastasiades said that they did not discuss the issue of guarantees and that was has been published is just some ideas which were developed. He underlined that our proposals have been formed on the basis of what we have declared as a Greek Cypriot side and cannot respond to what has been published on the issue of guarantees.
He said that following the intensified round of talks, on September 14th, the progress that will be achieved will then be determined.
According to the President, in today`s meeting they decided, with Mustafa Akinci, the chapters that will be discussed in each of the following meetings, including the issue of properties.
He pointed out that as regards the territory issue, they will not particularly refer to maps and names, but some criteria about the territorial adjustments, associated with the issue of properties, will be discussed. Cyprus President said that the same goes for the issues of security and guarantees, underlining that the basic principle on which they both agree is that the security of one side cannot be imposed as a threat for the other.
Replying to another question the President said that the Greek Cypriot is in favour of a tripartite meeting between himself, the T/c leader and UNSG Ban Ki Moon, given that there is sufficient progress in the talks.
He said that if there is sufficient progress that allows for such a meeting or if the UNSG wants, after the General Assembly, to meet the two leaders, “this is not the end of the world or something that is a paradoxical”. The President went on to point out that the progress and the course of the intensified talks have to be assessed first before such a meeting takes place.
President Anastasiades was also asked about the visit of the US Vice President Joe Biden in Turkey, saying that the US VP will discuss the bilateral relations however the Cyprus issue will be on the agenda as Biden has an interest on the matter the last 40 years.
He recalled that recently he had a phone conversation with the US Vice President and he pointed out to Biden what Ankara needs to take into account in order to achieve a solution that will be acceptable by both sides.
As regards a Conference that will take place in Athens on September 9th with the participation of the countries of the Mediterranean, members of the EU, the President said that he looks forwards to a cooperation of the Southern countries in order to develop policies and a more human approach which will be to the interest of all the Europeans.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN backed talks resumed in May 2015 aiming to reunify the island under a federal roof.
Today was the first of seven scheduled meetings between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci after their last meeting at the end of July.
Source: Cyprus News Agency